A Sunderland College student has secured a joinery apprenticeship after impressing during an industry placement with one of the UK’s leading housebuilders.

Trainee joiner Kyle Hammond worked on site with Keepmoat Homes at their Liberty Glade development in Houghton-le-Spring, which when complete will deliver 138 new 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes, as part of the innovative Capacity and Delivery Fund (CDF) training programme designed to identify and develop the brightest talent entering the construction industry.

The 17-year-old’s attitude, passion and desire to learn stood out alongside experienced tradesmen and site managers and led to subcontractor Tees Valley Trade Group offering him an apprenticeship upon completion of his 45-day placement.

Kyle, who is studying a diploma in joinery and carpentry, said: “I’ve really enjoyed my placement with Keepmoat Homes as I have been able to get on-site knowledge by working with experienced joiners, other tradesmen and management who operate on a building site.

“Studying at Sunderland College has given me the platform to be able to further my career in my chosen trade area by putting my training and skills learned in class into practice on an industry placement where I was able to gain an apprenticeship.”

Tees Valley Trading Group Director Adam Gallagher, who was a Keepmoat Homes joinery apprentice himself, added: “As a company we are very committed to the future of our trades. We have previously taken on 30 apprentices, some of which now work for us as qualified joiners.

“Kyle will be our third current apprentice of this year with a few more in the pipeline.”

The CDF placements are part of a pilot for Sunderland College’s upcoming T Level courses which places students with employers such as Keepmoat Homes to give them job-specific skills, vital experience and knowledge alongside their classroom learning.

Geoff Scott, Social and Economic Impact Manager at Keepmoat Homes, said: “Keepmoat is a great advocate of work placements as they enable students to gain an insight into a variety of roles, learn new skills and gain practical hands-on experience on a live development.

“Kyle’s placement has allowed him to develop his skills in an industry that interests him and prove to the joinery contractor that he would be a good employee

“His attendance, timekeeping and attitude have been fantastic. He has worked with the joiners daily and has been trusted to carry out certain tasks on his own. His apprenticeship with our subcontractor is a prime example of how we strive to not only provide an opportunity for the next generation to get an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the construction industry, but a career afterwards We wish Kyle all the best at Tees Valley Trade Group.”

Geoff has also praised Keepmoat Homes’ partnership with Sunderland College which has provided a boost the company’s workforce and an opportunity to inspire young people to pursue a career in the built environment sector.

He added: “Sunderland College is very professional and has a good track record as far as construction training is concerned.

“We were keen to work with the College to support their students and the curriculum around construction and house building. The college have communicated Keepmoat Homes exceptionally well throughout the whole process.”

T Levels are a new qualification for students aged 16 to 19 who have finished GCSEs and are the biggest reform to vocational training in a generation, giving young people the technical and practical skills, knowledge, and attitude to excel in their careers. The courses, which sit alongside A-levels and Apprenticeships, combine classroom learning with a substantial industry placement.

Victoria Moyse, Senior Employment Team Manager at Education Partnership North East, said: “We are so proud of Kyle and delighted he has excelled on his placement with Keepmoat Homes which has led to an Apprenticeship.

“We are committed to supporting our students to get career ready and develop the technical and work-based skills which employers are looking for. Meaningful industry work placements give our students both the edge in the jobs market and an exciting insight into their potential future careers.

“The new T-Level qualifications offer students the knowledge and experience required for skilled employment, further study or higher apprenticeships, while the industry placements provide real life, hands on industry experience allowing learners to put into practice the skills developed in college and make a meaningful contribution to employers.”

If you are an employer interested in offering T Level placement opportunities and would like to find out more, visit www.educationpartnershipne.ac.uk, email info@educationpartnershipne.ac.uk or call 0300 770 1000.

Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

Highly commended - Employer of the Year, Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards 2019

Engagement with Employers - Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award 2017

(Sunderland College On-programme Survey 2017)

Selected by DfE for 2021 T Level pilot to deliver the new high-quality technical qualifications.

98% overall employer satisfaction - Employer Survey 2018/19