A Northumberland commercial painting and decorating firm is taking on a teaching role itself after recruiting six apprentices.
Blyth-based F Southern Ltd, which has a staff of 30, is expanding to cope with an increasing demand from commercial clients in the public and private sector.
The business has chosen the apprenticeship route for growth to train the next generation of staff for the family-owned firm.
In the last three years, F Southern Ltd has decorated more than 1,000 student bedrooms in Newcastle’s new accommodation blocks and has carried out the first year’s maintenance on the scheme.
Other major projects completed recently include Industrial & Marine Painting at the Port of Blyth and maintenance painting at Wansbeck Hospital in Ashington.
But the family-run firm has also a well-deserved reputation for its work in the educational sector.
Commercial director Paul Novell, who joined the company in 2012, said: “It’s interesting how the business started in education and we’ve now come full circle with six apprentices of our own.
“Education is still a primary activity for the business and our work culture and ethos is all about the personal development of our staff like one of our newest recruits, Kai Burn.
“Kai joined us as a painting apprentice from Bede Academy and very quickly we saw his potential and now we’ve given him the opportunity to grow with the business as our first ever trainee Quantity Surveyor.”