Keepmoat Homes is combating the construction skills shortage in the North East as the company reaches a key milestone having supported over 50 apprenticeships and work placements from New College Durham.

The two companies have worked together since January 2018 to deliver over 50 work placements and apprenticeship opportunities, along with delivering workshops and site visits for over 100 students and have joined forces to complete community projects to benefit groups and organisations in areas local to the Keepmoat Homes North East developments.

Recent collaborations include building an outdoor classroom for the children at Coxhoe Primary School, as well as the decoration of gym areas at Coxhoe Active Life Centre, which are within close proximity to Keepmoat Homes’ Hampton Green development.

To commemorate their ongoing partnership, Keepmoat Homes has erected signage on its hoardings at its Elder Gardens, The Fell and Hampton Green developments showcasing their social value achievements with New College Durham. The new developments will bring over 400 much-needed homes to the area.

Working in partnership with the college, the team at Keepmoat Homes Elder Gardens in Newton Aycliffe will generate £4,103,294 in total social value at the development through work with the help of local suppliers and workforce. Tyler Louth, a second-year joinery apprentice is currently working with the team on site, alongside the Art and Design and Engineering departments at New College Durham to create a piece of artwork to depict the local wildlife around the development, due to be completed and erected later this year.

Geoff Scott, Social & Economic Impact Manager at Keepmoat Homes said: “During our partnership with New College Durham, we have welcomed over 50 students on site to enable them to experience what it is like on a live housing development and give them the opportunity to work with our skilled employees and contractors.

“At Keepmoat Homes, we go beyond just delivering new homes and strive to make a big impact in the local community which we serve. We have always placed work experience and apprenticeships high on our priority list as we aim to inspire the next generation of employees and provide students an opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge and experience into the construction industry to enable them to make educated career choices.

“The students from New College Durham are always very enthusiastic and keen to learn and we look forward to continuing our partnership to benefit not only the students but the local community as well.”

Mark Anderson, Vice Principal at New College Durham said: “Partnerships with employers are vital to ensuring our students develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours employers need. Keepmoat Homes have provided outstanding opportunities for our students to gain invaluable experience working on live construction projects. We look forward to working together in the future with aim that many more students will benefit from this fantastic partnership.”

Tyler Louth, Year 2 Joinery Apprentice at Keepmoat Homes, said: “This apprenticeship has changed my life and given me a career. Before I started the apprenticeship with Keepmoat Homes, I was struggling to find a job that I enjoyed and had worked in roles varying from the fire brigade to scaffolding in Australia. I can safely say this is the best job I have had and the whole team, whether that’s on site or at college, are extremely friendly and approachable, and they always go out of their way to share some useful tips and check that I’m doing ok. I can finally look forward to what the future holds for my career within the construction industry.”