Northampton youngsters step onto construction career ladder

29th November 2018

Six young people from Northampton have been given the opportunity to work on a £160million regeneration programme.

The new apprentices have joined energy and regeneration specialist ENGIE, working on a borough-wide, long-term planned investment programme to council-owned homes, on behalf of Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH).

Charlie Blackie, Djamel Kadouce, Mbongeni Moyo, Melvin Ndlovu, Nicholas Englefield and Ryan Moss are the first to secure employment thanks to the partnership’s commitment to create over 60 apprentice opportunities during the lifetime of the programme.

Nineteen-year-old Brickwork Apprentice Djamel is studying an NVQ Level 2 Brickwork course at college while also gaining on-site experience.

Djamel said: “When I finished school, my mum said that I couldn’t live at home for free, so that really made me look for jobs I was interested in, and that’s when I found the apprenticeship with ENGIE. I used to love playing with Lego as a kid and my big brother and grandad both have successful jobs in the construction trade, so that really inspired me to apply too. Plus, as a resident of an NPH property, it gave me the opportunity to see the other side of tenancy.

“Day to day, I’m patching up electric boxes and doorways, carrying out general labour and learning the importance of safety on site. So far, I am really enjoying the job; the people I’m working with are great.”

Twenty two-year-old Groundwork Apprentice Melvin is also enjoying his new role, adding: “My job before this apprenticeship was deliveries but I was desperate to get a CSCS card so that I could have more opportunities to carry out training courses in the construction industry. I found out about the apprenticeship through the local community centre in Spring Boroughs and applied straight away.

“I’ve just completed six weeks at college to give me the relevant training in groundwork and now I’m on site learning how to lay slabs, mix concrete, and filling wheelbarrows for the team. Teamwork is so important in this trade, you can’t do it by yourself and that’s what I am really enjoying. Only time will tell, but I see myself at ENGIE for a very long time.”

Nathan Brough, Regional Director at ENGIE’s Places & Communities division, said: “We’re very proud to welcome our newest apprentices to the business. It’s great that, as part of this contract, we can nurture and develop the next generation of local construction talent.

“I joined the business as a Trainee Site Manager 28 years ago after carrying out work experience during the summer holidays. I genuinely believe that getting an apprenticeship in the construction industry offers endless opportunities to build a lifelong career.”

Mike Kay, Chief Executive at Northampton Partnership Homes, said: “Meeting the apprentices working on our new developments was a real highlight for me.

“Finding a construction partner that gives back to the local community was an important part of the procurement process for NPH, and I am thrilled to see young people from Northampton making the most of this fantastic opportunity. Having also recently taken on nine new apprentices at NPH, we really have started to invest in Northampton’s future.”

The programme includes landscaping and improvements to the inside and outside of council homes in Northampton, as well as the regeneration of neighbourhoods and community spaces.