Local people take first step on construction career ladder

Nine local people have been given the chance to start a career in construction, thanks to a partnership between energy and regeneration specialist EQUANS and Rotherham Borough Council.

EQUANS is the new brand for global energy company ENGIE’s regeneration and services-led activities.

The new recruits will complete apprenticeships in plumbing, joinery, business admin, electrical and gas works, whilst working on EQUANS’s £60million contract to provide a planned and responsive repairs and maintenance service to council homes across the borough.

One of the new apprentice plumbers is Nathan Knowles, 20, from Brampton Bierlow. He said: “When I saw the opportunity to take on a plumbing apprenticeship, it was a no-brainer for me. Plumbing has been in my family for years, and with the current demand for the trade I knew I’d be kept busy.

“I’m loving my apprenticeship with EQUANS so far – my mentors are great and I’ve already learnt so much.”

Demand for construction workers is at an all time high, with the Chartered Institute of Building estimating that an extra 160,000 workers will be needed by the year 2023*. Currently, EQUANS employs more than 600 apprentices across the UK.

Neil Wright, Head of Operations at EQUANS, said: “I am delighted to welcome our newest cohort of apprentices. Investing in the next generation of construction professionals is an integral part of our business, and there’s never been a more important time to do that than right now, given the UK’s well-documented skills shortage.

Apprenticeships provide a great opportunity to learn lifelong skills, whilst also earning a living and we’re sure our latest recruits have a bright future ahead of them.”

Rotherham Council’s Acting Assistant Director for Housing, Paul Walsh, said: “Rotherham Council is proud to be working with EQUANS to offer the opportunities for apprenticeships to residents in Rotherham and the wider South Yorkshire area. Apprenticeships are a great way for people to build skills for a specific job role, industry or trade while offering them the experience at the same time, ending with a nationally recognised qualification. This is in line with our Social Value policy, which aims to provide added social, economic and environmental benefits for our borough when we are procuring goods and services from major suppliers.”

EQUANS was appointed by Rotherham Council in 2020 to provide responsive repairs, adaptations, void works and estate management services to 9,800 council homes across the borough.

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