Construction firm helping Northumberland students build careers in industry

From left, college placement officer John Johnson, business solutions officer Laura Laidlow, decorating student Robyn Hawitt-Thirlwall and David Dixon, head of customer services at Gentoo Tolent.
From left, college placement officer John Johnson, business solutions officer Laura Laidlow, decorating student Robyn Hawitt-Thirlwall and David Dixon, head of customer services at Gentoo Tolent.

A new north east firm is seeking to offer inspiration to students considering careers in construction.

Staff from Gentoo Tolent have paid a visit to 30 bricklaying, joinery, tiling and painting and decorating students at Northumberland College to outline the opportunities on offer in the building industry.

Paul Webster, managing director of the Sunderland-based firm, said: “A career in construction offers so much to young people today.

“Building relationships like we have with Northumberland College, we can really help to nurture and train those starting out in their chosen construction discipline.

“With the commitment from our staff who have been out to speak to these students, as well as the commitment of our supply chain enabling us to deliver informative and valuable workshops with students, we are ensuring the next influx of construction operatives are ready for what the industry needs.”

Another group of students at the college visited a Gentoo Tolent site in Burnside, Cramlington, being worked on for Ashington-based housing group Bernicia to see how a refurbishment scheme is carried out.

John Johnson, placement officer at the Ashington college, said: “The overall feedback has been overwhelmingly positive ,with the students, in particular, enjoying the experience. They felt they got a lot from it.”

“The students pointed out how organised and well run the site was and were quite surprised at how friendly and approachable the workers were on the site.

“They were also amazed at the difference made to the houses with the addition of extensions and the bay windows to the front.”

Gentoo Tolent, created earlier this year by the merger of Doxford International Business Park-based Gentoo and Gateshead firm Tolent, has hosted 580 such site visits.