Meet Sunderland’s Gentoo workforce of the future as 16 apprentices begin their careers

Sixteen apprentices are starting their careers at housing provider Gentoo, in Sunderland, as part of the group’s investment in its future workforce.

Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 10:15 am
Building surveying apprentice, Elle Graham (centre), with her apprentice colleagues from Gentoo Photo: Gentoo/The Bigger Picture Agency Ltd

The new recruits will be in training for around two to four years and will work in a range of services across Gentoo including paralegal, building surveying, housing management, arboriculture, business administration, electrical, gas, plumbing and heating engineering.

The sixteen new apprentices were chosen out of 1150 applicants. They will begin on salaries of £12,500, which is £5,200 above the minimum wage. There is also a £3,000 pay rise per year of apprentice.

The Group, which was recently awarded an Investors in People Gold accreditation for its commitment to developing and engaging with its workforce, has created 276 apprenticeship opportunities since 2001 for local people. Around 90% of those apprentices continue in the business to work full-time in permanent employment.

The new apprentices are a key part in Gentoo’s five year £417 million investment plan. They are set to help deliver the commitments to its tenants and to Sunderland as a whole.

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Gentoo’s chief executive Nigel Wilson said: “I’m delighted to welcome our new apprentice cohort to Gentoo. Providing training and employment opportunities for local people is a top priority for Gentoo and it’s crucial we continue to invest in our workforce of the future.

“I look forward to us equipping our new apprentices with the right skills and knowledge to ensure they’re able to build a bright future both for themselves and for Group.”

Elle Graham, who is starting a Building Surveying apprenticeship at Gentoo, said:“We’ve had a great first few days getting to know the business and the people we’ll be working with. We’re all grateful for the opportunity we’ve been given and can’t wait to start learning in our new roles.

“Gentoo has a great track record of developing apprentices into successful full time employees and we’re all excited to build our careers with the Group.”

The company has already begun planning for more apprenticeships. Anyone interested in applying for one in 2020, is advised to check gentoogroup.com for updates.