Young apprentices building a new career for themselves got together for a teambuilding day with a difference.
The group of around 40 apprentices were at the John Charles Centre for Sport, constructing a series of giant pyramids.
The apprentices, who all work for regeneration firm Keepmoat, were taking part in a full day of exercises designed to help them get to know their fellow apprentices better.
Twenty of the apprentices will be working on the major £198m Private Finance Initiative partnership between Leeds City Council and Keepmoat, which will see 1,245 council homes refurbished and 388 new council properties built.
Harehills resident Kwami Thompson, who has recently been taken on by Keepmoat as an apprentice plasterer on the PFI, said:
“I decided to become an apprentice in order to gain the skills and experience to enable me to go further in life.
“I heard about the opportunities with Keepmoat when they were working on my girlfriend’s house. I spoke to the site team and it seemed like the right route for me to go down.
“This event has been great as I’ve been able to meet other apprentices who are further on with their training and I’ve learned a lot.”
Working in small teams, the apprentices were challenged to construct their pyramids using cane and rubber bands before joining forces at the end of the exercise and putting their creations together to form two giant structures.
The event took place during National Apprenticeship Week, which ran from March 3-7, and was one of a number of activities which took place across the city to celebrate the contribution that apprentices and their employers make to the local economy.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills attended the teambuilding event.
She said: “Seeing the enthusiasm and energy of the young people involved in this event really brought home what apprentices have to offer when they’re given the chance to get involved in large-scale projects like the housing PFI.
“Throughout National Apprenticeship Week we’ve seen the fantastic contribution apprentices and their employers make to our city and I hope the example they have set will encourage even more people to take advantage of the opportunities the apprenticeship programme offers.”
The housing PFI, which was agreed last summer, will help revitalise communities across the Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck areas.
Councillor Peter Gruen, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, said:
“This housing PFI will bring real benefits to communities in Leeds and it is fitting that these local young people will be involved in shaping the future of housing in our city.
“The capital investment being made in this project will lead to a huge number of training and employment opportunities and these apprentices, as well as others who are taken on as the PFI progresses, will be a vital part of making this initiative happen.”
Martin Smithurst, Regional Managing Director at Keepmoat, added:
“Apprentices are the lifeblood of our business, so it’s great that we are able to create so many employment and training opportunities through our long term commitment to the city of Leeds, and across the wider region.
“The PFI project is not just about improving homes, it’s about enabling local people to learn new skills will help them to build life-long careers. ”
For more details about apprenticeship opportunities in Leeds, visit www.leedspathways.org.uk/work