NORTH East social landlord Derwentside Homes is celebrating after its apprenticeship programme was recognised as one of the best in the North East.
The company, which employs around 220 people and has employed 14 apprentices since it was formed in 1996, has been selected as a Highly Commended runner-up in the North East Medium Employer of the Year award category of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2011.
The awards, organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, celebrate the achievements of apprentices and employers from all over England.
Since its formation, the company has made a commitment to supporting people into employment and training, while creating jobs for the communities it serves.
Of its 14 apprentices, four have completed their training, three are qualified apprentices within the company and a fourth apprentice is now working abroad in Australia.
The current apprentices working at Derwentside Homes work across all sections of the organisation – from bricklaying to clerical duties – and in the past the Association was recognised as being the first Registered Social Landlord (RSL) in the North East to recruit housing apprentices.
Geraldine Wilcox, Chief Executive of Derwentside Homes, said: “This is a tremendous achievement for the organisation and our staff.
“These apprenticeship roles form part of our goal to make a difference by supporting and investing in the communities in which we work.
“It is a pleasure to see our apprentices progress through the organisation, fulfil ambitions and develop new skills and training.”
John Wayman, Regional Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, added: “I would like to congratulate Derwentside Homes on their success – they are a shining example of the true value that apprenticeships can bring. “