Matthew Nesbitt from Wallsend, is a carpentry and joinery apprentice and Luke Ramsey from Sunderland, joins as an apprentice bricklayer. Both will spend one day a week learning the theory behind their trades at Tyne Coast College and Sunderland College.
Established in 2013, EN:Able Futures, a community interest company, specialising in the construction and built environment sectors, became part of Yorkshire-based, not-for-profit, Efficiency North Holdings, in 2018.
Earlier this year, it launched its flexi-job apprenticeship service into the North East and is recruiting apprentices for the construction and civil engineering industries from the Tees Valley up to the Scottish borders.
As well as offering flexi-job apprenticeships, an alternative to the traditional apprenticeship model, allowing employers to be flexible in appointing apprentices, EN:Able Futures can also place apprentices for the full duration of their apprenticeship, as is the case with Matthew and Luke who are studying a 30 and 24 month apprenticeship at Mountfair Homes.
Julie Deeley, director of operations at EN:Able Futures, said: “Since launching our service in the North East earlier this year, following huge success in Yorkshire and Humber, we have worked hard to develop apprenticeship and training opportunities across the region.
“We offer an integrated solution that matches apprentices with industry employers, whilst our team of apprenticeship managers give each apprentice the mentor and pastoral support they need to succeed.
“The placement of Matthew and Luke at Mountfair Homes, is a perfect example of this and they will be supported by our assistant apprenticeship manager, Sophie Richardson, who comes from an apprenticeship background and will offer first-hand guidance.
“As we look to 2023, we will strengthen our relationships with the region’s colleges. To date, we have placed five apprentices and we are currently recruiting for three apprentices in varying positions, as we continue to provide mutually beneficial opportunities for young people and organisations across the region.
“We will build on our success, with a strong focus on expanding our services across the Tees Valley.”
Shea Grimsdale, managing director at Mountfair Homes, said: “It’s well reported that we are suffering from a labour shortage in the construction industry. Soaring labour prices are a direct result of this and with the immense demand on the industry both by government and the private sector, we need to work to counteract this quickly.
“I feel strongly that this void is down to a lack of encouragement of the younger generation, over a number of years, to see construction as a viable career path. The industry as a whole is incredibly diverse and there are fantastic opportunities. At Mountfair Homes, we’ve wanted to be proactive in helping to be a part of the solution instead of compounding the problem.
“As a young company in a highly competitive market though, we had to be sure we could sustain the expansion of the team. Knowing that if we needed to, we could adopt the EN:Able Futures flexi-apprenticeship scheme, gave us the confidence to take the risk with the knowledge that if we were unable to find enough work to keep the whole team busy, then the apprentices could be able to move to another company on a temporary basis to continue their training.
“The work the team at EN:Able Futures did advertising and promoting the job and vetting and pre-qualifying the applicants, meant we interviewed some excellent candidates and we couldn’t be happier with Matty and Luke.”