Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 16.50.47A fine furniture retailer on Teesside is providing paid placements for Teesside University students to allow them to immerse themselves in the world of work.

Oliver Slade and Alex Youngman, who are studying for web development degrees, are working one day a week at Turnbull and Thomas, which has a show room at Urlay Nook Road, Eaglescliffe.

Turnbull and Thomas, which has a strong and sophisticated web presence, has been established by two Teesside entrepreneurs Terence Turnbull and Gareth Thomas.

The students’ employment involves them working on Turnbull and Thomas’ website’s further development, interacting with media and marketing teams from other suppliers and assisting the sales team processing its online orders.

Managing Director Mr Turnbull said: “These work placements are part of Turnbull and Thomas’ desire to interact with the wider community. We also consider it important that young people are given the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience during their studies to help make them work-ready.

“In addition, we believe that students undertaking work placements or internships should be paid for their work.”

Mr Turnbull added: “Alex and Oliver are proving to be diligent and enthusiastic members of the Turnbull and Thomas team. We hope their time at Turnbull and Thomas means they leave University equipped with, not only the technical knowledge but also, the softer skills such as communication and teamwork that are so sought after bypotential employers.”

Oliver said: “It is fantastic to put the knowledge I am learning at University in to practice in a real workplace situation. I am sure broadening my skills will stand me in good stead for when I finish my studies and enter the work of work.”

Alex said: “I am really enjoying my time at Turnbull and Thomas, which is giving me an in-depth understanding of the needs of the workplace. I am grateful to Turnbull and Thomas for this work experience.”

Before transferring to the retail sector, Mr Turnbull clocked up 24 years’ in the Armed Forces where he was renowned for his meticulous attention to detail and his distribution, re-supply and logistics expertise. After leaving the Army, Mr Turnbull amassed in-depth retail experience, which most recently included four years as the general manager of an online furniture retailer.

Mr Thomas is an established entrepreneur as he is Managing Director of Teesside manufacturing firm, Icon Plastics at Eaglescliffe.

The showroom, at Studio 24/25, The Old Offices, Urlay Nook Road, Eaglescliffe, works in tandem with the company’s website – http://www.turnbullandthomas.co.uk – where customers can browse and order the extensive range of furniture and home accessories.