“I’m massively passionate about the valuable experience apprenticeships give young people”
A Cheshire-based housing association is creating four new apprenticeships as part of their commitment to increasing job opportunities in the county.
Weaver Vale Housing Trust is offering two plumber and two joiner positions.
The new apprenticeships are part of the landlord’s wider Apprenticeship Plan which is set to launch 21 trade roles over the next four years.
Overseeing the programme is former apprentice Gareth Rigby, 40, now the Executive Director of Property at Weaver Vale. He started his career as a heating and plumbing apprentice in his local town of St Helen’s after leaving school aged 16.
Learning practical skills as an apprentice with Cruden Group alongside one day a week in college, what he particularly appreciated was the ability to learn about the many aspects of construction, maintenance, and project management alongside practical experience.
Since then, he has transitioned into the managerial side of the industry thanks to roles such as a property and construction supervisor and contract manager, before being responsible for housing property schemes. These experiences all helped Gareth get to where he is now as an Executive Director, but he still gives much credit to the early days.
Today, Gareth says: “I believe that what I got from an apprenticeship is the single most worthwhile thing I have done for my career. That’s why I’m massively passionate about the valuable experience apprenticeships give young people.
“Although I couldn’t have guessed it would lead me to being a director, what I did know at the time was that my apprenticeship was opening doors. I could feel I was opening myself up to more opportunities, and it would put me in a good position for getting a job.”
Gareth added: “I hope the future of our Apprenticeship Plan will see us continue to grow a skilled workforce, enabling and equipping colleagues with the resources, skills, and experience to deliver excellent services to our customers.”
Weaver Vale is mindful to put support in place for apprentices who may not yet have much experience, are returning to work or are switching careers.
Anyone applying will benefit from free help from the Weaver Vale Work Team when they apply. The Work Team is there to help customers and the local community find work and training and with these roles the team will be on hand to support applicants with writing, updating CVs and covering letters and general interview advice.
Wayne Gales, Chief Executive of Weaver Vale Housing Trust, said: “I am delighted we are launching our Apprentice recruitment with these four fantastic trades roles.
“As a local employer we firmly believe in opportunities for local people of all ages, and an apprenticeship is a perfect way to either start a career or make the change you’ve always dreamt of.
“In the challenging work environment we find ourselves in, working as an apprentice means you’re getting paid, earning a qualification and gaining vital practical experience on the job. Plus, the huge benefit of our trade apprenticeships is being guaranteed a permanent contract with the Trust upon successful completion of the apprenticeship.
“We look forward to welcoming new apprentices to the team as they kickstart their new careers with us.”