South Tyneside will be shining a light on local apprentices next week to mark a week-long celebration of apprenticeships.
National Apprenticeship Week will run from 3 - 7 February and is an opportunity to recognise and applaud apprentice success stories from across the Borough.
Throughout the week, there will be a number of events taking place in order to spark conversations around apprenticeships and provide the next generation of apprentices with advice for their future career.
On Thursday 6 February, there will be an opportunity for parents, carers and educators to find out more about how apprenticeships work during an information session at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word. Attendees will hear from young apprenticeship ambassadors about their experience, as well as local support organisations who can help develop residents' knowledge of apprenticeships. The event will run from 5.30pm until 6.45pm.
Councillor John Anglin, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy, said: "Apprenticeships allow people to earn-while-they-learn and gain higher level qualifications and mentoring from professionals in order to shape a career in their chosen field.
"The theme of this year's National Apprenticeship Week is 'Look Beyond' which calls on young people, employers, parents and teachers to look beyond traditional preconceptions around apprenticeships and explore the variety of career options available.
"I would encourage anyone who is looking for some help and advice about apprenticeships to attend this worthwhile event."
On Monday 3 February from 4.30pm to 5.30pm, South Tyneside Council will also be hosting an interactive Q&A session on social media. #AskTheApprentice will give budding apprentices the opportunity to ask three South Tyneside Homes apprentices questions about their experiences. Those interested can submit their questions ahead of the takeover via Twitter @STynesideBusiness.
Councillor Ed Malcolm, Chair of South Tyneside Homes' Board, said: "Our apprentices at South Tyneside Homes gain valuable experience and skills through our apprenticeship schemes.
"The South Tyneside Homes apprenticeship programme has been recognised on a local and national level. Our apprentices are extremely passionate about their work and receive a great deal of support to learn new skills and develop their careers.
"The Q&A session is sure to be beneficial to the next generation of apprentices."
Joseph Little, a Plumbing and Gas Fitting Apprentice at South Tyneside Homes is one of 35 apprentices currently employed for the housing company.
Joseph said: "Before my apprenticeship I was excited and apprehensive, but my experience has been very positive. Any nerves or worries I had were squashed as soon as I started. I've gained valuable qualifications and work experience in a welcoming environment."