Apprentices secure full time employment thanks to scheme
Published by Ailsa Macmillan for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
Dan Carr at work at AMD Specialist Coatings, Gateshead, SGS MIS Testing Ltd in Consett
Three apprentices from County Durham have secured full time employment, thanks to local housing association’s employment scheme that helps residents to find work.
Sean Mitcheson, Daniel Carr and Darren Smith have all gained full time jobs after working as apprentices for Social Housing Enterprise Durham (SHED), which is run by Derwentside Homes and employs residents who have been out of work for six months or more.
In April 2013, Derwentside Homes teamed up with East Durham Partnership (EDP) to set up a training scheme, which matched the SHED apprentices with prospective employers.
The aim of the scheme is to give companies which may not have the resources to organise training programmes themselves, or who may have concerns over employing apprentices, the support and guidance they need to take trainees on, many for the first time.
Keith Tallintire, Director of Resources from Derwentside Homes, said: “This is changing the lives of young people who do not get the opportunities to prove themselves and by using this model they are securing full time jobs.
“The change in their confidence is fantastic and they have grown to become excellent team members.
“Their employers said that this is an experience they want to continue to support as Darren, Dan and Sean have proven that given a chance they can secure full time employment in the real working world.”
The scheme benefits everyone involved, with businesses able to find the right apprentices quickly and have them trained in an area of their choice, and apprentices given the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification, as well as hands-on experience.
Together Derwentside Homes and the EDP manage the apprentices and provide the accreditation for the apprenticeship frameworks.
Darren, 23, from Stanley was previously out of work for a year-and-a-half before securing the SHED apprenticeship and being offered full time employment with Corespec, which is a paper and cardboard manufacturer in Stanley.
He has been working for six months as a Cut-off Operator and his job is to work on the packing line to make cardboard tubes.
Darren said: “I’m over the moon after being employed full time – it’s been great and I’m delighted. I found it hard to find work before this.”
Sean, 23, from Consett now works full time as a Metallurgical Technician at SGS MIS Testing Ltd in Consett, which is a company that tests materials’ strength, pressures and corrosion levels.
He said: “The apprenticeship has been a completely worthwhile experience as I am now a valued member of the testing team.
“I’ve been given the chance to learn specialist skills and to progress my career, gaining a full-time position in a successful, local company.”
Daniel, 21, from Stanley works full time as a Labourer at blast and powder coating specialists AMD Specialist Coatings in Gateshead.
Steve Davis, Managing Director at AMD Specialist Coatings, said: “Dan has blended in well with the team and he’s a quick learner.
“We have always been honest and open with him and we have a good team – he wants to be part of us.”
Three other project workers were also given full time positions at Lamplas the glass, fibre composite and solid surface moulder in Consett after working under the SHED scheme for six months.