South Tyneside-based, HLA Services, has brought double joy to a Sunderland family with the appointment of brothers, Liam and Niall Torpey.

Niall, 21 a local exhaust ventilation trainee (LEV) and Liam, 17, an air conditioning and refrigeration apprentice, are both from Tunstall, Sunderland.

Liam, said: “I have just started a four-year apprenticeship course at Sunderland College which will see me spend one day a week learning the theory behind the trade. I have a keen interest in engineering, so when the vacancy became available, I jumped at the chance to join the company and hot on my heels was Niall, who, coincidentally, was successful in being appointed as an LEV trainee.

“I work with a team of eight, under the supervision of director, Neil Henry and it is my ambition to remain with the company upon completion of my training. It is a brilliant working environment mixing with lads who are my age and learning the trade, whilst having senior members of the team readily available to offer advice.”

Niall, said: “I have known about HLA Services for a while as both Liam and myself have a friend who is progressing his career with the company. It is a well-known business in the region with a strong reputation.

“I work with a team of four under the supervision of LEV test engineer, Lee Kirby and project manager, Michael Oliver. I am already gaining an insight into working on live sites, have been gaining knowledge in areas such as ductwork testing and I am also undertaking a range of qualifications, which the company is supporting me with.”

Located in Boldon, HLA Services employs over 100 people and has satellite offices in Teesside, Cumbria and North Yorkshire. It works across numerous sectors including construction, manufacturing, retail, education and hospitality and is one of the North East’s leading mechanical, air conditioning, climate change and temperature control specialists.

Director, Neil Henry, said: “Liam and Niall are welcome additions to the HLA team and are showing a real commitment to their chosen disciplines. We look to appoint and progress the skill set of talented people within the region and retain them so that we build on our progression route.

“They both stood out because they were the right fit for the company and had the determination to want to better themselves. We have many employees who have started their careers with us and have remained at the company.

“Persistence and hard work, combined with talent, will get you a long way. We want to avoid young people joining the company and moving on in a few years and we are here to support them with their personal progression by working closely with our local colleges.

“As an employer, it is crucial we understand the skills gap and we are doing our utmost to hire, train and retrain a highly skilled workforce.”