Young apprentices set for bright future in construction industry

Jan 29, 2013

L-R Apprentices Chris Stockley Rhys Jones and Matthew Mott

Apprentices (L-R) Chris Stockley, Rhys Jones and Matthew Mott

Three young tradesmen are on their way to promising futures in the construction industry after money saved by Contour Homes was used to give their careers a boost.

Chris Stockley, Matthew Mott and Rhys Jones are all working and studying after Contour Homes invested savings in apprenticeships for the trio.

For 18-year-old Chris, of Shaw, Oldham, it’s given him the chance to earn, learn and follow in the footsteps of his dad and brother.

He is working for Rochdale-based painting contractor ER Williams, has completed a Level 2 NVQ in painting and decorating, and is currently working towards his Level 3 qualification at Oldham College. Now he’s hoping to move on to university to study on a part-time construction and development course next year.

Chris said: “I don’t know what I would’ve done without the apprenticeship. I’ve always wanted to work in the trade. My brother is a painter and decorator and my dad was before he retired.

“It’s hard out there at the moment, and I’ve got quite a few mates who are struggling to find jobs or training. This is a great opportunity for me and it’s opened the door to university.”

Apprentices Matthew and Rhys are both working for Oldham-based contractors Emanuel Whittaker while also studying at Oldham College.

Matthew, aged 24, of Fitton Hill, is fitting windows and completed a Level 2 NVQ in Interior Fitting last year. He is being further supported onto a Level 3 qualification in Wood Occupations this year.

Rhys, aged 17, of Chadderton, who has recently started a Level 2 course in Wood Occupations, said: “I really enjoy joinery and like the idea of starting and finishing a job. Since taking up employment I can afford to take driving lessons, which is brilliant.”

Contour Homes has invested in the three-year apprenticeships, plus two more, as a result of buying £3 million of goods and services via the Manchester-based Procure Plus network during the current financial year. A consortium made up of housing associations, it is able to bulk-buy everything from windows and doors to kitchens and paint, meaning money can be saved to invest in other things.

Ross Hemmings, regeneration invest ment officer at Salford-based Contour Homes, said spending that money on “more than bricks and mortar” was vital to help communities prosper.
As well as funding the apprenticeships, savings have also been spent on a variety of community and environmental improvements.

Ross said: “Using Procure Plus has generated savings that we’ve been able to invest in employment and training for Chris, Matthew and Rhys.

“Times are challenging, both economically and for the construction industry, and creating opportunities like these is really important. It’s not just about making physical improvements to neighbourhoods, but creating an investment in skills that is lasting for our communities.

“Offering defined apprenticeships helps support people to achieve success in their chosen career, learning skills for life that will allow them to work in the trades and perhaps start up their own businesses.”

Mark Wilson, apprentice & trainee development! at Procure Plus, added: “We’re delighted to support these young people to succeed in their chosen professions.

“As a regeneration consortium of social housing providers, at Procure Plus we understand it is vital that we create these training opportunities for people to sustain long-term employment.”

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