SEVEN construction apprentices are set to build new careers with Keighley social housing group Incommunities.

The septet, which ranges from school leavers and a graduate to a former housing support worker, will combine on-the-job training with college studies.

The youngest recruits, at just 16, are electrician Max Parrott and joiner Sam Taylor.

Max got a taste for construction when he underwent a fortnight-long work placement with Incommunities whilst studying at school for his GCSEs.

"It's great to be starting as an apprentice sparky," he said.

"I achieved some good grades at school and could have stayed on, but doing an apprenticeship really gives me the chance to 'learn and earn'.

"Everyone at the construction training centre and the trades guys are really helping me settle in."

Eldest of the apprentices is graduate Rashid Hafejee.

The 40-year-old previously worked as a housing support worker in Kirklees.

He was looking for a fresh challenge which would help develop his practical skills.

Rashid said: "I had worked in social housing for 11 years, helping people turn their lives around.

"Now I want to transfer this experience into helping others by taking a new career direction as a plumber."

Anas Ahmed, 20, worked in a shop but has now started as a budding electrician.

"Doing an apprenticeship is a great way of learning on the job and coming away with a sought-after professional qualification," he said.

"Hopefully I can go on to secure a promising career with a great business like Incommunities!"

They and their fellow recruits – plumber Mark Riches, joiner Matthew Shaw and plasterer Paul Falkingham – will be assigned mentors from Incommunities' professional ranks to train on building projects and repair work, whilst also developing their skills at the group's construction training centre.

One day a week they will each attend college to work towards an NVQ qualification in their particular trade area.

Over the past 15 years, Incommunities has trained 142 apprentices, nearly 98 per cent of whom have achieved their professional qualifications.

Geraldine Howley, group chief executive, said: "Apprentices are at the heart of our business and we have a wide range of talented people joining us this year, not least in age from 16 to 40!

"Each recruit will learn first-hand what it's like to be part of our experienced construction team and will benefit from some of the best training anywhere."