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Apprentices taken on to help maintain housing stock

Published on 02 October 2017

TWENTY-THREE apprentices who have completed their training with Leicester City Council have now been taken on permanently.

The ‘craft trade’ apprentices will all work in the council’s housing department, helping to maintain Leicester’s 21,000-strong stock of council houses.

About half of the apprentices have completed a two-year programme in general building skills such as plastering and bricklaying, with the others completing a five-year programme that also includes specialist training in gas and electrics.

Eight of the apprentices who have now been taken on permanently are women. Each year, the council runs a Women In Construction campaign to encourage women into craft trades, where they are under-represented.

Cllr Andy Connelly, assistant city mayor responsible for housing, said: “It’s great news that we have been able to take on these apprentices permanently. As well as supporting local employment and the city’s business economy, this demonstrates that we, as a council, are committed to training people in a variety of skills and that in return, our apprentices are happy to stay with us when the time comes for them to look for a job.

“This means we get high quality, skilled employees, while our apprentices benefit from new qualifications and greater earning power. It’s win-win.”

Victoria Forest, 32, completed the five-year apprenticeship programme and has now been taken on as one of the council’s multi-trade operatives. She said: “I never really got on with school and I worked in a fast-food restaurant for a number of years. But then I decided I wanted a career, not just a job.

“I knew I didn’t want a desk job – I wanted something where I could be active – and my granddad was a plumber, so I thought about trying that. I found out about Women In Construction, gave it a try and really liked it.

“I’m really happy now to have a job doing what I’ve been trained to do.”

Further information on apprenticeship opportunities across the city council ­can be found at www.leicester.gov.uk/apprenticeships

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