A handful of new apprentices have been accepted onto the Hackney Homes apprenticeship scheme, beating over 130 applicants.
Hackney Homes, which manages council homes for Hackney Council, has taken on nine young adults as apprentices to help out with construction and maintenance.
The aim of the scheme is to give the apprentices practical experience such as plumbing, electrical, multi-trade, gas or grounds maintenance.
James Griffin, 18, the first gardening apprentice hired, said: “When I was younger, I loved to garden with my mum. That feeling inspired me to get into grounds maintenance. It’s an exciting opportunity to learn, meet new people and keep fit whilst at work.”
The apprentices, aged between 16 and 18, were required to participate in an extensive interview process before finally being accepted.
They will also attend college and study for a National Vocational Qualification whilst working for Hackney Homes.
Lucy Ransom, 17, one of the electrical apprentices accepted, said: “It’s an old fashioned idea to think that the construction industry is only for men. I am excited to begin my career with Hackney Homes and look forward to learning new skills whilst earning money.”
“As a female apprentice, I have the advantage of being able to go in to the homes of some female residents who may be intimidated by male workers and make them feel comfortable and at ease.”
Councillor Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “It’s great to have such a large number of new apprentices, including the first grounds maintenance apprentice. It’s brilliant to see that the majority are from Hackney.”
“It was a pleasure to meet them and to hear the enthusiasm for their new roles. This scheme provides our local young people with a valuable trade and the experience needed to enter employment and make a difference to the lives of residents across the borough.”
Seventy five apprentices have been accepted into the programme since the scheme started in 2002, 85 per cent of them have since gained full time employment.