Local budding tradespeople are being given a fantastic opportunity to prepare for a career in construction through a young apprenticeship programme. For the second year running Sedgefield Borough Homes' (SBH) contractor partners, Mears Ltd, has recruited new apprentices and will be training them to become the Quantity Surveyors, gas fitter/plumbers, joiners, roofers and electricians of the future. This brings the total working for the partnership to 12.The three-year apprenticeship programme will give the apprentices an opportunity to learn and utilise practical skills whilst working on a range of contracts including SBH's £100 million improvement works and day-to-day repairs and maintenance contract. Kyle Walton, 16 years old from Ferryhill is thrilled to be selected to serve his Apprenticeship with Mears. Kyle says, "I left Ferryhill Business and Enterprise school in 2009. Before leaving school I did some work experience with an electrician and decided that I would like to pursue this trade as a career. I applied to Mears for an Apprenticeship as they undertake a variety of difference contracts as partners with SBH and this will provide me with knowledge that will help me to progress my career further." Wayne Harris from SBH says, "For several years it has been widely acknowledged that the Construction Industry is heading for a shortage of skilled labour crisis. This problem is being compounded further by employers cutting back on good quality training as they try to survive the recession. "However the tenants of SBH were very clear when choosing a partner that they wanted added value services built into the delivery of the repairs and improvement works to their homes. Creating apprenticeships for dozens of youngsters over the life of the contract was seen as an essential requirement when choosing Mears. This will enable SBH to support the delivery of its Mission - providing affordable quality homes and investing in the future. "Getting unemployed youngsters into high quality apprenticeships is good for the Construction Industry, great news for the North East and a life changing opportunity for the youngsters who have been selected!" Tom Brown, Mears Sedgefield Branch Manager says, "The yearly intake of apprentices is an essential element for us to move forward. The wealth of knowledge within our workforce is huge factor in our success. By using our existing experienced craftsmen to mentor our apprentices we ensure that we are maintaining these skills for the future of the construction industry." The apprentices were selected through a competitive application and interview process and will complete a recognised qualification as part of their training.For more information please contact Angela Smurthwaite, Marketing and Communications Officer on 0845 505 5500 Ext 4625.