Pilot leads the way to new apprenticeships

Stephen Cochran at work.
Stephen Cochran at work.

A housing company has created 16 new apprenticeships following a successful recruitment pilot.

Working in partnership with Northumberland College, Homes for Northumberland (HfN) began the pilot with one apprenticeship vacancy and has now offered Stephen Cochran, 21, a full-time position as a plumber after he successfully completed a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

During the pilot, the college advertised vacancies on behalf of HfN and shortlisted candidates.

Due to its success, 16 additional apprenticeship vacancies have since been created within the housing company.

HfN manages the housing stock belonging to Northumberland County Council and is responsible for some 8,500 properties around the Alnwick, Amble and Blyth areas.

The apprenticeship programme covers various roles found within a housing management company including both office-based and trades such as business administration, social housing, repairs and maintenance.

Stephen said: “Working and attending Northumberland College one day per week has been great because I’ve been putting the skills I’ve learnt at college to good use and getting a full-time job is great.”

Kevin Lowry, managing director at HfN, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer apprenticeships.

“It is a great way for young people to learn the skills that our organisation requires.

“It is also beneficial to our company to expand our team with well-motivated staff who are eager to develop their skills and Northumberland College helped us at every stage of the recruitment process.”

The college offers over 40 apprenticeship frameworks and works with more than 700 businesses across the region.

Prospective apprentices can attend one of the college’s regular open events. Employers can find out more at www.northum berland.ac.uk/employers