National Apprenticeship Week 2014: Apprentice helps transform community centre in Ketley, Telford

Apprentice plumber Luke Horan working in the kitchen at Ketley Community Centre

Having long-recognised the positive impact that apprenticeships have for the individual apprentice, the organisation employing them and the construction industry, Sanctuary Group will once again be celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, taking place from 3 – 7 March this year.

Sanctuary Group is supporting more than 600 apprenticeships through its development programme across the UK, each apprenticeship offering a first step towards a career in construction for the young apprentice while at the same time, ensuring that the building industry has the range of trained people it needs in the future.

Luke Horan, an apprentice plumber who worked on Sanctuary Group’s site in Ketley in Telford, is a perfect example of this.

The 21-year-old was offered an apprenticeship with Staffordshire Plumbing and Heating, and has been working through Sanctuary Group’s contractor Seddon at the Glen Cottages development in Brickhill Lane, Ketley.

As well as studying at Stoke College to gain his NVQ Level 3 Plumbing qualification, Luke has had a range of practical experience on site, including plumbing work in the kitchens and bathrooms of the 14 new and refurbished homes in Ketley.

He has also been working on a local community project that Sanctuary Group and Seddon have been involved with, helping with vital improvement works at Ketley Community Centre nearby.

This will see the office space at the centre moved from the kitchen into the main reception area, the replacement of out-of-date kitchen with clean modern units and the redecoration of both areas.

Jane Johnson, Project Manager at Sanctuary Group, explained: “Sanctuary Group always strives to bring benefits to the wider community through its development projects, and it’s pleasing to see a young apprentice like Luke involved in the work to transform the kitchen at Ketley Community Centre.

“Apprenticeships are a great way of enhancing classroom learning with practical experience and we hope that by highlighting Luke’s story during National Apprenticeship Week, we can encourage others in the construction industry to consider taking on apprentices in the future.”

Emma Dempster, Project Skills Co-ordinator from Seddon, added: “At Seddon we are committed to bringing the next generation of construction trades and professionals into the industry through apprenticeships, and working with Sanctuary Group has allowed us the chance to offer local people, like Luke, these opportunities.”

Sanctuary Group’s £1.6 million development at Glen Cottages in Ketley, which was part-funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, was completed last month, and improvement work at the community centre nearby is expected to be complete shortly.

As well as celebrating this apprenticeship in Telford, Sanctuary Group has organised a whole range of activities across the UK to mark National Apprenticeship Week, including a postcard campaign featuring Chantelle Wrightson, a young apprentice from North Yorkshire.

The postcard highlights the many benefits of apprenticeships, thanks Sanctuary Group’s partners for their support and also launches a new website – – where there is more information on Chantelle’s story and others Sanctuary Group has helped into employment through its development programme.

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