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Vela Group signs apprenticeship commitment


Jane smith

New Member
The Vela Group has signed up to the National Housing Federation’s North East Apprenticeship Commitment to celebrate Apprenticeship Week, which runs from February 6-10.
The housing group, which includes Housing Hartlepool and Tristar Homes, owning 17,000 homes predominantly in the Hartlepool and Stockton areas, has pledged to extend employment opportunities to apprentices wherever possible.

With the highest unemployment figures in the country and nearly one in four young people out of work, the North East urgently needs more apprentices to create a new generation of skilled workers and drive economic growth.

Since the formation of Vela, one of the Group’s key objectives has been to provide new schemes to help get people into work and to recruit more trainees.

The Vela Group’s apprenticeship training lasts up to four years with the apprentices gaining work-based practical experience, as well as, benefitting from a college course in a related subject.

Vela has worked in association with Hartlepool College, Springboard and Connect To Work to establish these apprenticeships.

Cath Purdy, Vela Group Chief Executive, said: “Housing associations are about much more than just bricks and mortar. As well as providing an affordable roof over people’s heads, Vela is committed to playing an important role is improving the lives of residents.

“Helping people gain skills, which opens doors to fulfilling careers, is crucial to the economic wellbeing of an area. Apprenticeships are a great way to gain practical experience and study for industry-recognised qualifications while earning a wage.

“This agreement demonstrates the Vela Group’s commitment to helping shape a future generation of skilled workers.”

Last September, 24 young apprentices from the local area started work with the Vela Group, increasing the overall number of apprentices across the Vela Group to 34. The apprentices work in a variety of disciplines covering traditional trades and modern professions.

Nine are working in administration, eight in housing management, one in information technology, three in bricklaying, three in joinery, three plumbing, one plasterer, three gas fitters and three as an electrician.

As part of their National Apprentice Week celebrations, Vela apprentices visited Laurel Gardens, a purpose built development that specialises in exclusive independent living for the for the over-55s.

Here, they organised entertainment including a game of Bingo and a raffle, helped out in Laurel Garden’s hair salon, shop and bistro and computer lessons for residents.


The Vela Group and other social landlords are working with the National Housing Federation, the voice of affordable housing in England, to ensure the sector continues to provide opportunities for young people as a springboard to future careers.

On February 10, social housing providers will meet at the Radisson Hotel in Durham to discuss ways of employing more apprentices.

They will discuss best practice with politicians and also meet apprentices to hear about their experiences first hand. The Vela Group has been chose to showcase its apprentice programme to delegates.

Monica Burns, the Federation’s lead manager for the North East, added: “I am delighted that the Vela Group is leading the way during Apprenticeship Week by committing to take on more apprentices.

“The apprenticeship culture is already well embedded in the North East’s social housing sector and this new commitment demonstrates how the region is keen to continue setting the standard.”

Housing associations in the North East have pledged to increase the number of apprentices they employ to be between one and five percent of their workforce. This has already resulted in more than 100 new apprenticeships being