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Aragon teams up with Olympian on young apprentice scheme

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Aragon teams up with Olympian on young apprentice scheme


Published by Grand Union for Grand Union Housing Group in Housing and also in Education

Kriss Akabusi watched by the team of young apprentices Kriss Akabusi watched by the team of young apprentices

Apprentices are the winners in celebrity programme

Seven young apprentices have bright futures ahead of them as a result of a partnership featuring three times Olympic medallist Kriss Akabusi.

Aragon Housing Association teamed up with training company Construction Gateway and world champion athlete Akabusi to set up ‘Project Mackenzie’ to recruit and train the young apprentices.

Now employed by Construction Gateway’s Community Maintenance Team, they are now being trained by working on Aragon properties across the area.

Aileen Evans, Managing Director of Aragon, said: “Project Mackenzie has been a unique meeting of minds in which partners have enabled a group of young people to take their future in their hands.

“We have watched as all the applicants have grown in confidence and skills during the induction part of the programme. We are delighted that seven young men will be working with us.”

The apprentices will embark on a formal two year paid training programme in which they should qualify as Level 2 qualified Building Maintenance Operatives while working on repairing some of Aragon’s 6,500 homes in central Bedfordshire.

They were recruited after a five week Project Mackenzie course which involved some preliminary construction and life skills training for 14 applicants.

Steve Makowski, spokesman for Construction Gateway, added: “We cannot congratulate all the participants and partners highly enough for their work in this first roll-out of Project Mackenzie.

“As we continue to roll out further sessions in 2014 we know the partnership is going to have a significant impact on improving the prospects of young people in our area.”

Kriss Akabusi, whose dynamic motivational style was key in inspiring all the participants about their future, added: “I was lucky enough to have a mentor in the Army, in the form of Sergeant Ian Mackenzie who gave me inspiration and spotted a talent which helped me to my medal winning form. Now it’s our turn to give young people the opportunity to turn their talents into real jobs and give them a bright future.”


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