Apprentices are looking forward to a new career after over 1,000 people applied for just 12 roles.
The group of apprentices have joined housing group Thirteen, which provides housing in Hartlepool.
The 12 apprentices will work with skilled staff in property services, learning from some of the very best trades staff in the industry, for the next three to four years.
Working in partnership with Darlington College and Askham Bryan College, the apprentices, aged 16 to 25, will work towards a recognised professional trade qualification, up to level 3, in either plumbing, electrical, joinery, gas engineering, plastering or grounds maintenance and will lead them on their way to potential future employment.
Reece Travis, 16, from Hartlepool, who is an apprentice electrician, said: “I wanted to learn and do something that was hands on.
“When I looked into it, this seemed ideal. Thirteen has given me a great start to my career.”
Thirteen’s director of investment and maintenance, Nik Turner, said: “It’s important that we help local people gain work experience, qualifications and a step on the career ladder.
“Every year our apprenticeship programme goes from strength to strength.
“We were overwhelmed to get over 1,000 applicants for the positions this year.
“This is a fantastic opportunity, for people to build a career for themselves and gain the skills they need in a modern and successful organisation.
“As the largest social housing provider in the North East, we’re making a real difference in the Tees Valley and further afield.”