Future’s bright for five apprentices

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Five budding painters and decorators from Ashington have been given the career boost they craved by signing up to paid apprenticeships.

Michael Sonnenfield, 22, Ben Groves, 21, Ryan Tait, 21, Carl Henderson, 20, and Gary Brown, 17, were referred by their local Jobcentre Plus facility to Ingeus, which delivers the government’s work programme throughout the north east.

Supported by an employment advisor from Ingeus , the group were offered the specialist help and encouragement needed to successfully apply for the apprenticeships at Northumberland County Council’s Adult Learning Service, which is based on the North Seaton Industrial Estate in Ashington.

Their new jobs will lead to recognised qualifications while they refresh the interiors and exteriors of a number of council-owned properties, including schools and local government buildings throughout the region.

Mike Smith, construction training manager at Adult Learning Service, said: “Even in these difficult economic times it is hard to recruit new apprentices in the open market.

“Finding people who are well matched to the vacancies we have can be a full time job in itself, when I and my colleagues really need to be teaching and training.

“That’s why we value the service provided by Ingeus.

“They provide fully assessed candidates.

“Meanwhile our new employees are learning new skills each day and then putting them to good use.

“Local people have got jobs and training, and council tax payers are seeing the benefits because Ingeus’s services are free of charge.”