THE Bridges shopping centre has appointed its first apprentices.
Matthew Young, 16, and Kevin Hutchinson, 19, have joined the building and operations teams to help in the day-to-day running of the centre.
Matthew, from Hetton, has been hired to undertake the general maintenance of the air conditioning, plumbing and heating at the Bridges.
As part of his training, Matthew is working across the Inviron team to improve his knowledge of the centre’s systems and services that support the operation and infrastructure.
Kevin, from Hylton Castle, has joined the centre’s housekeeping team and is already studying for a NVQ Level 2 qualification in Cleaning and Support Services, with Gateshead-based Zodiac Training.
Centre director Andy Bradley said: “We’re always looking for ways to support Sunderland’s younger generations, and this is a perfect opportunity for both Matthew and Kevin to learn new skills in a working environment at the heart of the city.
“The team at The Bridges is committed to working with the community to support Sunderland and is keen to play an instrumental role in pushing forward the city’s aspirations.
“We had a lot of interest in the apprenticeships and both boys have already proved to be a fantastic support for the team.
“We hope that we will be able to take on more apprenticeships at the centre in the near future.”
City council leader Paul Watson added: “Increasing the number of apprenticeships is one of the ambitions of the city council’s Economic Masterplan so I’m delighted to see The Bridges creating these two posts.
“Apprenticeships offer a real opportunity for learning on the job.”
This year alone The Bridges has created 170 new jobs, thanks to the completion of the £15million Primark and the opening of a new Superdry store and a 1,500 sq ft Caffe Nero.