Wolverhampton Homes is marking National Apprenticeship Week by employing 15 new apprentices on its Decent Homes programme.

The arm’s length management organisation, which manages Wolverhampton City Council’s 23,500 properties, has, with its partners, taken on young people from across the city to give them the opportunity to learn skills that they will retain for life.

The 15 new apprentices bring the grand total employed over the lifetime of the Decent Homes programme to 84.

The apprenticeships have included trades such as plumbing, electrical, carpentry, painting and decorating plus office-based administrative work.

As well as on the job experience, the young people have been supported to gain external qualifications such as NVQs and have been able to access health and safety training.

Shazad Ahmed, Project Skills Co-ordinator, Wolverhampton Homes, said: “The apprenticeships training programme was put in place to give people the skills and experience they need to get into sustainable employment.

"We’ve recruited a range of people from students, school leavers, to anyone looking to start a career in construction.”

One of the previous success stories of Wolverhampton Homes apprenticeships is Anil Sandhu, 23.

Anil joined the programme on a Plumbing Apprenticeship in 2009 while studying at the City of Wolverhampton College.

He said: “Joining the programme gave me the direction I needed to start my career. I started my apprenticeship with Bullock construction and I learned a lot about plumbing, which was great.

"I learnt things like how to install bathroom suites and radiators to installing pipe work. I now want to achieve my Gas Safe ticket at NVQ level 3 and also eventually move on to commercial jobs and then open my own plumbing business.”

Shazad added: “The programme has grown from strength to strength over the years.

"We’ve seen our apprentices and trainees go on to further education, gain permanent employment or go on to be self-employed.”