Apprenticeship Featured Industry News

Six apprentices start roles at Oldham housing association

Six apprentices have joined First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) in a variety of apprenticeship roles, as it commits to creating employment opportunities for local people.

The new intake comprises Jordan Kemp, Panashe Sharaunga, Baillie McLoughlin, Will Meredith, Illan Cooke and Ruhan Hussain into the roles of one electrician, two joiners and three plumbers respectively.

The new recruits, aged 17-22, live across Oldham and the surrounding boroughs, and are part of FCHO’s commitment to recruiting talent to deliver the best possible service for its customers.

The housing association has a track record of developing and retaining talented people, and several colleagues who started as apprentices as far back as the 1980s are still employed there today.

Twenty-two-year-old electrical apprentice Jordan said: “I’m really happy to be joining Oldham’s largest housing provider in my new role. The physical experience of learning on the job is really valuable and I’m excited to progress my career here.

“When I was younger, I didn’t really know which direction to take in terms of employment, but now I’m on the right path and looking forward to the future.”

Dave Thomas, who joined FCHO through a carpentry apprenticeship in 1983 and has progressed to Head of Property Care, said: “I’m really pleased to see local people joining us through apprenticeship schemes. Learning a trade is absolutely invaluable and if you look at our industry, we rely on skilled people every single day to carry out the repairs and maintenance in our homes and neighbourhoods, making sure they are great places for our customers to live.

“Although traditionally apprenticeships were thought of as only being for young people, apprenticeships are for everybody, regardless of age, and we want to create a talent pipeline coming into the business each year. This will ensure we have a future-ready workforce when others retire or leave, with business continuity measures in place so we can continue delivering great services to the highest standard.

“I have no doubts our latest recruits will go on to become brilliant tradespeople and assets to our business, and I wish them every success as they embark on their careers with us.”

Chief Executive, Donna Cezair, added: “FCHO has always had a proud history of helping local people to kickstart their careers, whether this is through apprenticeship roles, other job opportunities across the business or our dedicated in-house employment service, Directions, which helps our customers find work, training or volunteering opportunities.

“Dave is a shining example of the career path available to not only apprentices, but to anyone, and he’s the perfect role model for our six new recruits.

“I’d like to wish all our new apprentices good luck – a bright future awaits.”

Apprenticeship positions with FCHO are open to everyone and are advertised in the same way as other roles. Visit the website for more information.