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Terrific 20 take up the tools at Gentoo

A TEAM of 20 talented individuals overcame competition from more than 500 people to secure apprenticeships at one of the largest housing associations in the North East.

The intake of the 20 apprentices at the organisation is part of their commitment to providing new career and learning opportunities, as well as an important workforce planning, ensuring they have the right people with the right skills to deliver services in the future. 12 of these apprentices will attend Sunderland College.

Sunderland College apprentices won the positions with housing association, Gentoo, following a comprehensive recruitment process, and, as such, make up part of the first intake of vocational students to study at the College’s £29m City Campus.

Gentoo and the college have established a relationship stretching back years, with countless apprentices securing full-time positions within the firm. However, the latest apprentice intake is the biggest single commitment since the start of the partnership.

Gentoo Chief Executive, John Craggs, said: “At Gentoo we are proud of our people and the difference they make. We have a strong track record of developing talent and supporting people through their chosen career path.

By working in partnership with Sunderland College, we have recruited a team of enthusiastic and talented apprentices for a number of skilled trades including electrical, gas, plumbing and bricklaying. We are thrilled to be working in partnership with them, helping to develop young people and adults – most of whom are also residents of the city.

“This is not only a great opportunity for the apprentices themselves but for us as a business. All 20 apprentices have already started to make an impact and I am delighted to welcome them to Gentoo. Since 2001 we’ve created more than 240 apprenticeships and hope to employ many more in the future.”

Sunderland College works with businesses across the North East to deliver apprenticeship programmes, including Gentoo, Calsonic Kansei, Sunderland Care and Support, Liebherr, Farrans, nPower, Leighton Corporation and Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

Principal and Chief Executive, Ellen Thinnesen said: “Gentoo is an ambitious, forward-thinking business, and this is reflected in their commitment to apprenticeships – nurturing the next generation of talent and creating future leaders.

“I’m absolutely delighted that the college has supported with such a large proportion of Gentoo’s recent apprentice intake, and also that these high-performing individuals are part of the first intake of apprentices at our flagship City Campus.

“We pride ourselves on developing the brightest young people, and to be able to support Gentoo in this way is excellent, and a fantastic example of a city-partnership that will help to drive the city’s development.”

The Sunderland College intake of 12 apprentices are across a number of skilled trades including two in construction; two bricklayers, five electrical engineers and two plumbers, as well as one business administration apprentice. The additional eight apprentices will be studying arboriculture, roofing and gas servicing.

Zack Turner, New Electrical Apprentice at Gentoo said: “To have the opportunity to earn a wage as I learn a trade was very important to me when making decisions about my future. I always wanted to do an apprenticeship and have to say that Sunderland College has been brilliant in supporting us all throughout the process.

“It was a long and incredibly detailed journey to secure the apprenticeship, but ultimately worth every second and I’m incredibly proud to be one of the lucky ones securing such a high quality apprenticeship with such a high quality organisation.”

Sunderland College recently boosted its apprenticeship credentials by launching a new website, which acts as a one stop shop for apprenticeship information.

The online apprenticeship hub – www.sunderlandapprenticeships.co.uk – is up and running, and provides a landing-point for people interested in an apprenticeship route to work, as well as businesses that are looking to sign up apprentices.  The new site – which provides an A-Z of this vocational route to skills – will also be used to advertise apprenticeship vacancies.



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