Symphony/Bramall add to apprentice numbers

Symphony Housing and Bramall Construction have hired four apprentices at the St Mary's development in Oldham.

There are now nine apprentices working on the £15m scheme, with two apprentices employed at the start of the contract and three apprentices employed by Bramall's subcontractors.

Jack Chadwick and Andrew Chappell, both 18, were hired as apprentice joiners on the development. They join apprentice plumber Shaun Cadwallader, 17, and apprentice bricklayer Craig Kemp, 20, with all four attending Oldham College once a week to gain their NVQ qualifications.

Andrea D'Avanzo, regeneration investment officer for Symphony Housing Group, said: "As a major social housing provider in the North West we are keen to exploit all opportunities to create work and training for local people. We have been very impressed with Bramall Construction's commitment to the young people who will have a skill for life when they are fully qualified."

St Mary's will comprise 52 homes for rent and 41 shared ownership properties. Up to 89 homes will reach Code 3 under the Government's Code for Sustainable Homes, and the remaining four houses will reach the zero carbon standard, Code 6. The Code 6 zero carbon homes include features such as photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, recycling rainwater devices, waste recycling and eco efficient boilers for improved insulation.

Anthony Kavanagh, Bramall's site manager, said: "The four apprentices have made a great impression so far, they're really hard working and are willing to get stuck into their work which is refreshing.

"The recruitment drive was aimed specifically at the local postcode area and we leafleted people's houses, whittling down the successful candidates from 30 interviewees down to four. Jack and Andrew have already done some work at college before coming to us so we anticipate that they'll get their NVQ Level 3 within the next 18 months."

Apprentice plumber Shaun Cadwallader, who lives in the St Mary's ward, said: "It's going to be three years training in total and it's great to be working in a hands-on role, instead of just learning the trade from text books.

"The job is really varied as it's not just fitting pipes to kitchens and bathrooms, it also involves helping with excavation so I'm learning a lot as I go along. I feel very lucky to be offered this opportunity, especially as the construction industry has taken a big hit in the recession. 'm really enjoying working for Bramall and I'd love to work full-time for the company at the end of my apprenticeship. My family are all very proud of what I've achieved."

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