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Top ten join homes team

Ambitious youngsters have beaten off stiff competition to secure apprenticeships at South Tyneside Homes.

Ten teenagers have been selected to train in trades or office-based work at the company which manages the Borough's council housing stock.

Andrew O'Connor, Adam Shaw, Matthew Dowell, Thomas Goodman, Danny Lydon, Jade Spencer, Amy Lannigan, Amy Punshon, Daniel Atthey and Jemma Langley have joined the organisation after a rigorous selection process and are now working in their respective disciplines.

Five of the young newcomers will be learning trades including plastering, electrical, joinery, plumbing and painting in the company's Property Services section. The remaining five will be doing office-based work in Housing, Customer Services and Business Administration.

Matthew Dowell from South Shields, who is training as an electrician, said: "My dad is an electrician and I am really looking forward to following in his footsteps and learning a trade."

They will complete a two- three- or four-year apprenticeship, which will involve attending college or undertaking workplace assessment to attain their NVQ qualifications, as well as gaining on the job training by working with experienced staff members.

Cllr Allan West, Lead Member for Housing and Transport, said: "These youngsters have gone through a tough selection process and beaten off competition from hundreds of other applicants to secure their apprenticeships.

"We're delighted to welcome them all and look forward to watching them develop their skills and start laying the foundations for their future careers."

South Tyneside Homes was classed as one of the Top 100 Employers of Apprentices in the UK as recognised by the National Apprenticeship Service.

Cllr Ed Malcolm, Chair of South Tyneside Homes' board, said: "We're extremely proud of our award-winning apprenticeship scheme.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for local youngsters to get onto the first rung of the employment ladder and gain invaluable skills and experience.

"I'd like to congratulate them all and wish them every success."