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Housing Apprentices welcomed at the City of Edinburgh Council

8 November 2017

An induction day has been held for 22 new apprentices joining the housing service at the City of Edinburgh Council.

The opportunity for apprenticeships has been created as the local authority progresses plans to build more homes, invest in existing homes and provide services to reduce tenants' cost of living.

During a day of activities, the new apprentices were welcomed to the City Chambers by housing and economy convener Gavin Barrie and vice convener Lezley Marion Cameron. They were introduced to the housing senior management team and they heard from previous apprentices about their experiences and the opportunities available to them in their future careers.

They were briefed on the work of the housing service, before being taken on a bus tour to see first-hand the work in action; including new council homes under construction.

The apprentices are aged between 16 and 24 and were recruited as a part of Edinburgh Guarantee. They will gain new skills in a variety of services and achieve industry-recognised qualifications, while working towards a career in housing. A further six housing assistant apprentices will be recruited in 2018. The apprentices are keen to learn and come from varied backgrounds, including some whose families are council tenants.

The council's aim is to ensure that 1% of full-time equivalent employees in the council is an apprentice and 18 apprentices will graduate in November as part of the council's Modern Apprentice Awards 2017. They include young people making a positive contribution in areas such as business administration, housing and building trades including electricians and plumbers.

There are 76 apprentices in the council still working towards the completion of their Modern Apprenticeship and the council will be recruiting at least 33 apprentices in the coming year, taking the total for the year to 49 and 109 overall.

Since the Edinburgh Guarantee launched six years ago it has supported over 2,400 young people into employment training or further education. The Edinburgh Guarantee has also helped over 550 employers in the last six years provide young people new opportunities.

Councillor Gavin Barrie said: "It was fantastic to meet our new apprentices. The housing service is uniquely placed to develop a sustainable pathway for young people to have a career in housing with the council coalition and partners committed to building 20,000 new affordable homes over the next 10 years.

"Through the Edinburgh Guarantee we are helping to ensure all school leavers in the capital enter a positive destination and are given the opportunity of a job, training or further education once they finish school and it is encouraging to see we are employing so many modern apprentices learning new skills in the council."

Councillor Lezley Marion Cameron added: "I was delighted to meet and learn directly from our new Housing Service apprentices about their own career aspirations - especially how much they value the opportunity to learn new skills and valuable work experience and also how they are looking forward to playing their part with Housing Service colleagues to deliver our ambitious, and much needed, housing building programme."

Reflecting on the day, housing assistant apprentice Chelsea Wilson said: "I found the induction day really interesting. I enjoyed seeing the work going on throughout the city especially the transformation of some of the sites I know well, like Leith Fort. It was great to see how the tasks I do and projects I'll be involved with during my apprenticeship will fit in to the much wider housing service."