Gentoo and Sunderland College sign deal to build firm foundations

Ellen Thinnesen and John Craggs
Ellen Thinnesen and John Craggs
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Gentoo Group aims to be a class act.

The Sunderland housing giant has strengthened its commitment to developing the region’s workforce by forming a new partnership with Sunderland College.

We pride ourselves on inspiring people to make a difference, and this collaboration will allow us to further enhance the skills of our staff, deliver an outstanding service to our customers and provide work experience opportunities through our apprenticeship scheme.

John Craggs

The partnership will allow Gentoo to promote employment and career opportunities through work experience and improve the development and training of its existing 1,200-strong workforce.

A new multi-skilling training programme has already been developed for Gentoo’s repairs and maintenance teams as part of the deal.

The programme will enhance the teams’ current skills enabling them to carry out repairs in different disciplines in addition to the trade in which they are already qualified, increasing the number of repairs that can be finished on a first visit, and thereby providing a better customer service.

As a result, more than 150 of Gentoo’s employees will achieve a Level 2 NVQ in Multi-Trade Repair and Refurbishment.

Gentoo chief executive John Craggs said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Sunderland College.

“We pride ourselves on inspiring people to make a difference, and this collaboration will allow us to further enhance the skills of our staff, deliver an outstanding service to our customers and provide work experience opportunities through our apprenticeship scheme.”

Ellen Thinnesen, Principal of Sunderland College, said: “Gentoo is a high-quality organisation and a long-standing and valued partner of the college.

“I’m delighted to build on our already strong relationship through the signing of this strategic partnership.

“Gentoo is an organisation with ambition and aspiration. Working to support them through high-quality training programmes, apprenticeship opportunities and workforce development, shows the breadth and depth of our partnership.”