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First Apprentices Join Home Group


The first of more than 200 apprentices have been welcomed into one of the UK's largest social housing providers.

NECC Homegroup ApprenticesThe first of more than 200 apprentices have been welcomed into one of the UK's largest social housing providers.

A group of half a dozen young people embarking on a variety of apprenticeship programmes was given a warm welcome on their first day at work.

The apprentices were greeted by Home Group chief executive Mark Henderson and Patricia Wilkinson, Director of Training and Skills Development at the North East Chamber of Commerce.

Home Group has pledged to create more than 200 apprenticeships and work placements this year which are being delivered in partnership with the NECC.

The new recruits attended an induction day at Home Group's national headquarters in Gosforth Business Park where they learned about Home Group's proud 76 year history which started with it providing social housing for those on Tyneside and now sees it housing more than 120,000 people throughout the UK.

One of those who will now spend the next 12 months with Home Group is Robbie Sinclair. The 16-year-old former Walker Technology College pupil applied for his position as an Information Systems Administrator after hearing about the apprenticeship programme from his mother who also works for Home Group.

Robbie, of Walkerville, Newcastle, said:

"I've seen how much my mum enjoys working here so I was keen to apply for the apprenticeship. I did my work experience here a couple of years ago and ever since then it has been my ambition to work for Home Group. I'm joining a huge company and I feel really lucky that the head office is based where I live."

Robbie is the first person to be accepted onto the apprenticeship programme and as such has been invited to meet with Home Group chairman Rod Bennion.

He added:

"Mr Bennion is nominated for an award in London during my first week. I'm told he is very keen on apprenticeships and wanted to meet the first apprentice so I have been invited to travel down there for the awards ceremony."

Home Group is funding the apprenticeships for those people who are Home Group customers or live in a Home Group community.

Mr Henderson said:

"It's important for everyone at Home Group to improve the lives of our customers. This of course involves providing high quality homes for them to live in but it also involves providing them with opportunities. That is why we decided to offer theses apprenticeships to our customers or those who live in Home Group communities.

"I've spoken with the apprentices today and I'm sure they will make a positive contribution to the work we do here. They are all full of enthusiasm and wanting to learn more about their new roles. I'm sure the practical experience they will learn here along with the training they will receive from the NECC will stand them in good stead for the future whether that will be with Home Group or elsewhere."

Patricia Wilkinson, of NECC, said:

"I would like to congratulate this first batch of apprentices who are embarking on a career as part of a wonderful programme that goes straight to the heart of communities, helping to create thriving neighbourhoods.

"It offers people living in Home Group accommodation the chance of employment and to take their own initial steps on the career ladder.

"People who have limited pathways to employment will be offered new opportunities to work in an office in business administration, or support those who feel they can make a difference to communities through youth work or people who want to learn traditional trades."

To find out more about NECC Apprenticeships and how your business could benefit, call 0300 303 6322 or visit