Sunderland apprentices lined straight up for permanent jobs

Cllr James Blackburn.
Cllr James Blackburn.
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DOZENS of Wearside apprentices could walk straight into council jobs when their training ends.

Thirty-seven trainees, who are already on the city council’s Streetscene apprenticeship programme, have gained a Level 2 diploma in local environmental services.

As a result, many of the successful candidates will be offered permanent jobs when their apprenticeships come to an end in March.

Coun James Blackburn, who has responsibility for the local environment within Sunderland City Council, said: “These apprenticeships were introduced in the autumn of 2011 in Streetscene.

“I am pleased to advise that 37 apprentices have achieved a Level 2 qualification in local environmental services and recently attended a presentation ceremony attended by the mayor to celebrate their accomplishments. It is anticipated that many of the apprentices will become part of the core workforce within the service area at the end of their apprenticeships in March 2014.”

The council is recruiting a further 30 apprentices within responsive local services, including horticulture, street cleansing and grounds maintenance.

The 24-month scheme gives apprentices the opportunity to work towards a nationally recognised Level 2 qualification.

Coun Blackburn added: “I am very pleased to add that we are seeking to provide further opportunities for people to embark upon a career.”

Meanwhile, Premier Inn has pledged an additional 2,000 apprenticeships and 4,500 work placements for young people in Wearside by 2018.

The chain, which has hotels in Wessington Way, Washington and Durham, saw 415 apprenticeships successfully completed in 2012, a number which is set to increase under its new programme.

The company is also targeting the long-term unemployed, aged between 16 and 24, for 50 per cent of its vacancies.

Skills Funding Agency executive director Marinos Paphitis said: “It will open the opportunity to many who are looking for a career path into hospitality.”