Building skills with new staff

From left, Mark Emptage, Samuel Cross, Jake Bird, Debbie Gordon, Assistant Director of Corporate Service for Yorkshire Coast Homes.
From left, Mark Emptage, Samuel Cross, Jake Bird, Debbie Gordon, Assistant Director of Corporate Service for Yorkshire Coast Homes.
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A MAINTENANCE contractor has expanded its skills training policy after taking on two Scarborough apprentices.

Jake Bird and Samuel Cross have started work at Willmott Dixon’s Scarborough branch as part of the company’s pledge to always recruit locally.

The pair will join Willmott Dixon’s team working with Yorkshire Coast Homes on a £3.2 million contract to repair and maintain 4,500 homes in Scarborough and Whitby.

Mr Bird will study an electrical apprenticeship while Mr Cross completes a plumbing apprenticeship, with both trainees combining four days on site with one day attending a local college.

Mr Bird, 19, said: “At first I went to college to study engineering, but it wasn’t the right course for me. I wanted to pursue a career in electrics instead.

“When I heard about the job at Willmott Dixon I applied straight away and was over the moon when I got it.

“The work is really varied, and there’s a lot to cover.

“I’ve had the chance to work in empty properties, and also tenants’ homes - which was particularly rewarding because I could help them out with their problems.”

Mr Cross, 20, added: “I worked in retail previously but always wanted to learn a trade because I’m better at ‘hands on’ jobs, and didn’t want to be stuck in an office all day.

“Even though I’ve only been with the company for a few weeks I’ve already been out with my mentor carrying out repair work in tenants’ home and had the chance to try lots of different things.”

Mark Emptage, Willmott Dixon’s Scarborough branch manager, said: “It’s our aim to leave a lasting legacy in the communities where we work and we are keen to recruit new members of our workforce from the local area wherever possible.

“We were very impressed with the high standard of applications we received for the positions. Samuel and Jake stood out because of their enthusiasm, ambition and obvious practical abilities, and we are pleased to welcome them into our team.”