Social housing groups join forces

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SOCIAL housing associations in Northumberland have joined others from across the North East to commit to creating a total of 116 new apprenticeships by the end of the year.

To celebrate Apprenticeship Week, which ran from February 6 to 10, 11 housing associations in the region have signed up to the National Housing Federation’s (NHF) North East Apprenticeship Commitment and pledged that by the end of the year between one and five per cent of their workforces will be apprentices.

With the highest unemployment figures in the country and nearly one in four young people out of work, the North East urgently needs more apprentices to drive economic growth and create a new generation of skilled workers.

On Friday, social housing providers will meet at the Radisson Hotel in Durham to discuss ways of employing more apprentices. They will discuss best practice with politicians and also meet apprentices to hear about their experiences.

Social landlords are working with the NHF to ensure the sector provides first-class opportunities for young people to start their careers.

Those signed up to the NHF’s commitment include Bernicia Homes, Gentoo Living and Isos.

Monica Burns, the NHF’s lead manager for the North East, said: “I am delighted that the North East is leading the way during Apprenticeship Week by committing to take on more apprentices. It is a real tribute to our members that 116 new apprenticeships are being created in the North East.

“The apprenticeship culture is already well embedded in North East’s social housing sector and this new commitment demonstrates how the region is keen to continue setting the standard.”