Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Starting on the Road to a Bright Future

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Starting on the Road to a Bright Future

Article excerpt

THESE four new team members are stepping out on a new career path with Isos Property Services after beating nearly 300 rivals to win places on a four year apprenticeship programme. The four lads, aged 18-24, will follow a thorough apprenticeship programme, which includes gaining NVQ levels 1, 2 and 3 through attending Newcastle College.

Isos recruited the apprentices by working in partnership with Intraining North East, a division of Newcastle College Group, which provides national recruitment and training services. Each of the four apprentices has a speciality - two joiners, an electrician and a plasterer, but they will all get a grounding in each of the other trades.

IPS property services manager Michael McGrath said Isos wants its tradespeople to be multiskilled and able to carry out a 'whole job repair'.

He explained "A plumber might do the principal pipework on a bathroom repair, then reconnect the plumbing, and finally replace a couple of glazed tiles too - so we don't need to send two or three members of our team to carry out different aspects of one small job."

But Michael said the aim of the apprenticeship was not just about practical skills.

"We are not just training these lads to be a joiner, plumber or electrician, it's about developing good people skills and delivering excellent customer service - the way Isos wants to do its work.

"We want these lads to be ambassadors for Isos - to set an example.

Apprenticeships can be between two and four years - the norm is three. We have gone for four, with the last year working as a real tradesman, but with support, to make sure they are confident and capable.

"We have launched this programme as we think it's what a responsible employer should be doing, but there is also an element of succession planning.

We have tradespeople who are nearing retirement and we are committed to training the next generation. …

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