Mears is celebrating 10 years of working in partnership with Brighton & Hove Council this year. The partnership began in 2005 with a gas service and maintenance contract and now includes a 10 year full repairs and maintenance contract to the Council’s housing stock. When the 10 year repairs and maintenance contract began in 2010, Mears committed to providing 200 apprentices over the lifetime of this contract. Now at the half way point and 5 years in, Mears is on target to have provided 100 apprenticeship places with this year’s recruitment open day taking place on Friday 24 April 2015.Branch Manager, James Cryer said “Mears is really proud to have worked for Brighton & Hove Council for the last 10 years. We started with 16 directly employed staff and now have over 170 in full-time employment. The work we do ranges from fixing a dripping tap to major tower block refurbishments, including external wall insulation and new windows which can be seen in Kemptown and the Bristol Estate. Having apprentices has proved to be key in growing our business as they have all been very keen and enthusiastic and they are often quicker on computers than some of our existing staff!”Mears Brighton Branch has worked closely with NAS - The National Apprentice Service - and was awarded the Regional Employer of the Year Award 2013 for their involvement with apprenticeships. Employer contribution awards have also been received from City College Brighton in 2012 and Steve Willis Training in 2014. Mears has also worked with NAS as apprentice ambassadors – promoting apprenticeships to other companies and students across the South East Region. The apprentices were involved in the Brathay National Challenge promoting apprenticeships at local schools and local radio, The Argus also had a full page feature in a Brighton & Hove Albion Football programme and they participated in a debate with the Deputy Prime Minister at the 2014 National Skills Show at Birmingham NEC. Apprentices were also involved in a 2-year project with Brighton University building a complete house entirely out of waste material which won numerous national awards.Being a large organisation means Mears is able to offer a full range of apprenticeships both on-site and in office based roles. A large number of the apprentices have been retained - this includes 100% of those who chose office based roles. Others have gone on to gain other employment, some with Mears sub-contractors and some have started their own businesses. The company is especially interested in getting a good mix of male and female applicants to apply for all the apprenticeships.The Open Day is being held on Friday, 24 April 2015 between 11.00am and 6pm at the Brighton and Hove Housing Centre at Eastergate Road, Brighton BN2 4QL - just next to the Beacon Bingo Hall on Moulsecoomb Way. Anyone interested in becoming an apprentice is encouraged to attend the open day and apply for an apprenticeship. They will be able to talk to Mears staff, Brighton & Hove City Council, local training providers and colleges and some of Mears' larger sub-contractors who are also looking to recruit apprentices this year.There will be opportunities in business administration, plumbing, carpentry, painting and decorating, electrical, glazing and gas.