Five Birmingham apprentices set for new challenge

2nd November 2021

Five local young people have taken their first steps on the construction career ladder after securing apprenticeships with EQUANS, the new brand for global energy company ENGIE’s regeneration and services-led activities.

 The new apprentices are set to play a pivotal role in helping to improve and maintain homes across the city, as part of EQUANS’s £160m eight-year contract with Birmingham City Council.

The new recruits are carpenters Luke Wheatley and Charlie Moore-Donlon and plumber Joshua Koos, as well as trainee site manager Sanchez Clarke and trainee quantity surveyor Surinder Sagoo. 

 Twenty-one-year-old Joshua, from Sutton Coldfield, said: “I recently left the RAF and had always been interested in plumbing, so I was over the moon to secure this role.

“It’s been really good so far - I’ve been out and about with my mentor learning more about what my role will involve, and I’m looking forward to starting college in November.

“Once I have completed my qualifications, I’ll hopefully continue to do well in my career – I’m excited to see where my new skills lead.”

According to the Chartered Institute of Building, the construction industry will need to find 160,000 new recruits by 2023 to keep up with demand*. EQUANS’s latest recruits join more than 600 apprentices working for the organisation across the UK.

Paul Bingham, Regional Director at EQUANS, said: “Apprentices are the lifeblood of our business, and the UK’s well-documented construction skills shortage means that there’s never been a more important time to invest in the next generation of the industry's professionals.

“Apprenticeships provide a great opportunity to learn lifelong skills, whilst also earning a living. With the support of our partners at Birmingham City Council and local education providers, we’re sure our latest recruits have a bright future ahead of them.”

Councillor Shabrana Hussain, Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods at Birmingham City Council, said:

“I welcome the announcement that five young people from the city have secured these apprenticeships as part of EQUANS’s contract with Birmingham City Council. Investing in young people who can make construction their career is a good investment in their future and also the city’s housing stock which in the years to come will require skilled young people like these apprentices to maintain it.”

EQUANS was appointed by Birmingham City Council in 2016 to provide a planned and responsive repairs and maintenance service to council homes across the city.

The company is also carrying out significant improvement work to a number of high-rise tower blocks in the area.

 To date, over £23m of tangible investment has been spent with local suppliers and SME’s, benefiting the city and surrounding area.