A trio of recruits are building new careers in construction, at The Rise, in Scotswood, Newcastle.
Kaycie Hall, 17, from West Denton and Jake McDougal, 17, from Kenton, have joined Keepmoat and New Tyne West Development Company (NTWDC) as apprentice bricklayers. Meanwhile 47-year-old Shelleen Wardle, from Newcastle, has earned a promotion to become material controller on the site.
NTWDC – a partnership between Keepmoat and Newcastle City Council – which is responsible for regenerating part of the west end of Newcastle, has made a commitment to employ 75 apprentices throughout the lifetime of development.
Kaycie Hall, Keepmoat’s first female bricklayer in the North East region, who is based at The Rise, said: “My confidence, communication skills and motivation as well as my bricklaying skills have already improved through my apprenticeship.”
To date, working with Newcastle Futures, Generation NE, and Newcastle College, NTWDC has already supported 20 young people through their apprenticeships, nearly 70% of whom have gone on to secure full time employment in the construction industry.
Starting in post as a labourer last year, Shelleen impressed staff with her commitment, planning and dedication – earning the promotion, which will see her manage all build materials coming to and from site.
She said: “It has been so refreshing to gain employment and training opportunities with a company that is committed to maximising your skills set and providing opportunities to further your career. I have worked in several various roles over the years, including for the railways and within quality audit and inspection, but I find the construction sector to be so varied and welcoming.”
Since 2013 NTWDC has safeguarded over 1,000 jobs, backed several school and non-development apprenticeship projects, and supported the creation of a state-of-the-art NHBC training skills hub at Scotswood.
The hub is committed to supporting up to 100 apprentices annually, providing invaluable construction site experience in the trainee’s chosen skill, alongside offsite training in partnership with housebuilders including Keepmoat.
Jake, who is training at the NHBC hub, added: “When I found out about the opportunity to be able to train locally at a well-known development, The Rise, I jumped at the chance.
“I am really enjoying my training as it is a good mix of practical hands-on experience a well as being able to work as part of a knowledgeable site team.”
Geoff Scott, Social Value Manager at Keepmoat North East said: “It is great to see the team at The Rise grow through our employment, skills, development and promotion. We are committed to recruiting and retaining the best staff in the industry as well as investing in our local workforce and communities. Kaycie, Jake, and Shelleen are valued members of our team.”
Established in 2013 to breathe new life into the west of the city through a £265 million, housing led regeneration programme, since building began more than 550 homes have been completed.
*Photo caption: (L-R) Shelleen Wardle, Geoff Scott, Jake McDougal and Kaycie Hall.