One of the firms helping to transform Teesworks has hired a new apprentice to help prepare the site for investment and give him good-quality, on-the-job training during National Apprenticeship Week.
Redcar-based Michael Stonehouse, 18, has joined Hall Construction as an apprentice engineer after initially getting in touch for some work experience with the firm, and has now taken his place alongside the team currently carrying out land redevelopment work at the South Bank area.
He has been supported by the Teesworks Skills Academy, established by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen to link local people with job opportunities on the site. The Academy helped to fast-track his Construction Skills Certification Scheme card so he could be inducted to work on-site.
His appointment came during the 14th National Apprenticeship Week, which is taking place virtually this year, with a host of online events running for the region’s businesses and young people until February 14.
Michael, who was also recently awarded his Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) health and safety card, said: “I’m really excited. Working as an apprentice is the best opportunity because you get to learn on-site and on the job instead of sitting in a classroom every day.
“You learn quicker while you’re getting hands-on experience, and it’s really close. It’s a five-minute drive down the road, it just makes my life easy.
“Hopefully I’ll be a fully trained engineer in the next five years – I’m looking forward to getting started!”
Mayor Houchen said: “Michael is just one of the hundreds of apprentices we’re helping to create across the region, including right here at Teesworks and we’re delighted to have him.
“When the coronavirus hit I was determined to make sure young people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool were supported and didn’t miss out on the opportunity of taking up a really rewarding apprenticeship. So, I introduced a £1million emergency fund to help create more than 100 apprentices, on top of the existing support for employers.
“You don’t need to go to university to develop a rewarding career and, thanks to Hall Construction, Michael has been able to take this fantastic route into a great career at a site just a stone’s throw from his doorstep.
“Of course, apprenticeships don’t just offer jobs in construction or engineering, businesses across many of our key sectors see the value in training the next generation of workers in cutting-edge technologies across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”
Project Engineer James Hall, Michael’s mentor, said: “I’m really looking forward to showing Michael how to survey, how to run volumes and develop the local area.
“Apprenticeships are a really good idea to get into an industry that might be difficult otherwise to get into – they’re a great starting point. There’s lots of room for progression here at Hall Construction.”
For more details on support available to help businesses create apprenticeships, visit www.Teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/apprenticeships and for more information on National Apprenticeship Week, visit www.TeesValleyCareers.com