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CITY'S APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME

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The City of London launches its new apprenticeship programme with Inspace Partnerships as its first two members sig...
The City of London launches its new apprenticeship programme with Inspace Partnerships as its first two members sign up.

Sam Duffy, 16, who lives on the City Corporation-run York Way estate in Islington, will train as a carpenter while Jamie Watkins, also 16, will hone his plumbing skills.

They will attend a formal signing ceremony of their four year-long indenture at the Guildhall on Thursday 2 March and will have the chance to get business and career tips from special guest Sir Michael Latham, the chairman of CITB Construction Skills.

Sam and Jamie will work and train with Inspace Partnerships under a mentoring programme on the company's contract with the City to repair and maintain more than 2,900 properties across six London boroughs - Hackney, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets, as well as the City's two housing estates - Golden Lane and Middlesex Street - within the Square Mile. The apprentices complement their on-the-job training with one day a week studying at a local college.

The apprentices' progress will be monitored by the City of London and Inspace Partnerships regularly throughout the programme and mentors will be on hand from both organisations to help and advise them.

After their tenure, the apprentices will then have the option of being employed by Inspace Partnerships on the City of London contract to work on its housing estates as skilled and reliable tradesmen.

The City Corporation and Inspace Partnerships hope to expand the programme, to take on one more apprentice next year, in a bid to plug what it perceives to be a skills gap in the construction industry. It underlines the City's commitment to investing in the development of young people.

But it is not just for the boys - the City of London and Inspace are developing a programme to go into schools and colleges and encourage young women to become apprentices, to forge a career in the construction industry.

Jenny Goodall, Director of Community and Childrens' Services at the City of London, said: 'The City is very proud of its commitment to the education and training of young people and this programme is just one of many ways in which we do this.

'The scheme is positive for everyone - the apprentices get paid, well-monitored training with a job at the end, the City potentially gets new, skilled staff who know our houses and our residents benefit by knowing the tradespeople have undergone rigorous training which meets the highest standards in the industry.'

Gary Oldham, Inspace's General Manager at the City of London, said: 'We believe passionately about putting something back into the community. We are just starting our relationship with the City of London and hope that Jamie and Sam will be the first of many apprentices we are able to develop.'

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