In-house maintenance supplier Metworks says it has on its books “a bit of a trailblazer” in Derby College apprentice plumber Emily Parnill.

The city-based operation is responsible for responsive repairs and planned works such as electrical testing for Metropolitan, one of the UK’s leading providers of affordable housing and care and support services.

Metworks has forged close links with Derby College since it was set up just over two years ago by Metropolitan (feb 2016).

And managing director of Metworks Gary Collins said the operation is celebrating an “important” step by taking on its first two Derby College apprentices.

Emily, 19, is working to complete NVQ Level 2 in Plumbing and apprentice carpenter Sean Bell, 17, is working towards his Level 2 in Carpentry and Joinery.

Gary said: “It’s traditionally a male dominated environment and Emily is a bit of a trailblazer for us in that she wants to be a plumber and wants to be a trades person.

“I think it sets a great example to other youngsters.

“This is our first intake of apprentices and it’s quite an important thing for us.

“They are doing really well. I think there is good liaison with my office and college, to provide proper validation of how they are getting on. I think it is important our college provider is local.”

Gary said Metworks had a number of key social objectives which included “adding value to local communities.”

He said it aimed to continue providing employment and training by informing young people on potential opportunities by getting trades people to talk to them at school and college sites.

Gary added: “When you are young you really don’t know what you want to do, so I think there are ways we can support people by giving them the information they might need. We’d like to think there are really good communication channels between us and the college.”

Metworks’ parent company Metropolitan owns and manages a large portfolio of nearly 38,000 homes, offering services to more than 71,000 customers across London, the East Midlands and the East of England.

Metropolitan delivers care and support to customers with a wide range of needs, specialising in services for older people and for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.

It also has a wide range of shorter term services which provide customers with intensive support.

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