Derwentside Homes wins inaugural apprenticeship award
Published by Kelly Elliott for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
Derwentside Homes’ Chief Executive Geraldine Wilcox (centre) pictured with the company’s current apprentices.
North East housing association Derwentside Homes has been recognised for its commitment to apprentices and apprenticeships after winning a brand new award in the region.
The organisation, which owns and manages around 6,700 homes across North Durham, was named winner of the Apprenticeships award at the Durham and Wearside heat of the North East Business Awards.
It will now go onto the regional final in May where it will compete against the winners of the Teesside and Tyneside & Northumberland heats to claim the top prize.
The news, which comes following National Apprenticeship Week last week, follows years of hard work by Derwentside Homes to develop its apprenticeship programme.
Over the last seven years the company, which employs 234 people, has created 42 apprenticeships, as well as graduate and trainee placements, covering everything from traditional trades such as plumbing and gas fitting to office-based apprenticeships such as HR and Business Administration.
It was also the first housing association in the North East to take on a specific Housing apprentice and has developed a range of innovative schemes such as apprentice mentoring, job swaps to improve understanding of roles and teaming up with contractors and partners to offer additional experience for apprentices.
HR Advisor Diane Dixon, who oversees Derwentside Homes’ apprenticeship programme, said: “Wining this award is fantastic news for Derwentside Homes and is great recognition of the hard work of our apprentices and staff over the last year.
“Our work as a housing association goes far beyond just providing homes - we are committed to improving the lives of the people living in our communities and providing work and training through apprenticeships is one way in which we can achieve this.
“It is also a great way for us to recruit the next generation of skilled workers for our company. We really value apprenticeships within the business and will continue to recruit apprentices to strengthen our team even further.”
The North East Business Awards are organised by The Journal and Evening Gazette newspapers and are held annually in association with the North East Chamber of Commerce. They aim to highlight the inspiring work of businesses in the region.