Derwentside Homes crowned regional winner of apprenticeship award
Published by Ailsa Macmillan for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
(l-r) Derwentside Homes apprentices, Phillip Williamson, Ben Watson and David Roberts
A North East housing association has been recognised for its commitment to apprentices in the region after being crowned winner of a prestigious award.
Derwentside Homes, which owns and manages around 6,700 homes across North Durham, was named winner of the Apprenticeship Award last night, for its dedication to apprentices and apprenticeships across Durham and Wearside.
The housing association beat off strong competition from eight other businesses across the North East based in Tyneside, Northumberland and Teeside at the awards ceremony on May 1.
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.
Geraldine Kay, Chief Executive of Derwentside Homes, said: “To be recognised for our work with apprentices is absolutely brilliant, we are very proud of this accolade.
“We feel it’s important to give young people a chance to get into employment and long term work.
“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.”
Derwentside Homes won the award after showing how they are committed to apprentices and apprenticeships, the benefits of them, promoting the use of apprentices and how the scheme is used to develop their workforce.
Over the last seven years Derwentside Homes, 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.
Following this, they are working with New College Durham and North Durham Engineering Forum to launch the Northern Apprenticeship training academy which will place 100 young people into apprenticeships.
A scheme, Social Housing Enterprise Durham was set up by Derwentside Homes to employ and train local unemployed young people in the area.