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Sanctuary celebrates National Apprenticeship Week in Cheshire West

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Sanctuary celebrates National Apprenticeship Week in Cheshire West


Published by Anonymous for Sanctuary Housing Association in Housing and also in Communities, Education, Local Government

Sanctuary's Development Manager Mark Birkin with apprentice Jack Over Sanctuary's Development Manager Mark Birkin with apprentice Jack Over

Having long-recognised the positive impact that apprenticeships have for the individual apprentice, the organisation employing them and the wider industry, Sanctuary Group will once again be celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, taking place from 3 – 7 March this year.

Sanctuary Group is supporting more than 600 apprentice placements through its development programme across the UK, each apprenticeship offering a first step towards a career in construction for the young apprentice while at the same time, ensuring that the building industry has the range of trained people it needs in the future.

Apprentice Jack Over from Chester is a perfect example of this.

The 19-year-old was originally taken on through Chester & District Housing Trust (CDHT) as an apprentice joiner whilst studying at a local college.

Jack’s apprenticeship could easily have been at risk if not for the merger with CDHT and Sanctuary Group last year, but instead, with the Group’s commitment to providing training and employment opportunities as it builds new homes, Jack was taken on by Sanctuary Maintenance and has been able to progress as planned.

Jack has had a wide range of on-site experience since joining Sanctuary Maintenance, working on kitchen refurbishments and at offices in the centre of Chester. He has also been involved with ground-working at a number of key developments across Sanctuary’s portfolio in Chester West.

He is now working at Sanctuary’s Springfield Road site in Malpas where the leading housing and care provider is building three new family homes. These form part of Sanctuary Group’s wider development programme in the Chester area, which will deliver a total of 230 new homes at a cost of £31 million, with investment from the Homes and Communities Agency.

David Soothill, Sanctuary Group’s Head of Operations - Chester, said: “We are pleased to celebrate this year’s National Apprenticeship Week, recognising the value of apprenticeships as a way of learning a trade in the construction industry for Jack and so many others like him.

“We hope the experience at Sanctuary Group’s sites will assist him with his future career as a joiner.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Executive Member for Growth and Innovation, Councillor Herbert Manley, said: “Apprenticeships are a great way for people to gain experience in a new field and to learn their craft in a ‘hands on’ way.

“But it’s not just the individual that benefits. Many businesses who take on apprentices appreciate their hard work, passion to learn and the new ideas they can bring with them.

 “National Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic opportunity to find out more about this group - who can contribute so much to our local businesses.”

Jack, who is now in the final year of his NVQ Joinery apprenticeship, added: “This apprenticeship means a lot to me and I’m grateful to Sanctuary Group for giving me this opportunity. I really do learn something new every day and this can only be a good thing for my future career.”

Jack’s hopes for the future include furthering his skills in Plastering and Plumbing with Sanctuary Maintenance and ultimately becoming a site manager.

In addition to this apprenticeship in Cheshire West, Sanctuary Group has organised a whole range of activities across the UK to mark National Apprenticeship Week, including a postcard campaign featuring Chantelle Wrightson, a young apprentice from North Yorkshire.

The postcard highlights the many benefits of apprenticeships, thanks Sanctuary Group’s partners for their support and also launches a new website – – where there is more information on Chantelle’s story and others Sanctuary Group has helped into employment through its development programme.

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