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Friday, 19 September 2014

100th time lucky for Laura as she steps onto career ladder

A teenager who applied for nearly 100 jobs before landing one says it is great to be in work.

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Five star: Jack Bullock, Wayne Longman, Laura Bell, Bradley Thompson and Shaun Clark have all been taken on by Lattimer Homes

Laura Bell’s experiences highlight the problems youngsters are facing searching for work amid a double-dip recession.

But her refusal to give up has seen her land a job with a family-run construction company.

The 19-year-old, from Carlisle, is one of a number of apprentices taken on by Lattimer Homes, based at Mealsgate, near Wigton.

The firm is among a growing number backing high-level calls to invest in youth and take on apprentices.

Lattimer’s is doing that on its building sites and in its offices.

Laura said: “I had made 97 job applications before I got this. I was starting to lose hope. It’s brilliant now to be working.”

Lattimer’s is giving its apprentices hands-on training, as well as those for formal qualifications at college.

Shaun Clark, 16, is the youngest of the most recent batch of five taken on by the company.

The apprentice bricklayer, from Silloth, left Solway Community College in May last year and went straight into a job with Lattimer Homes.

He said: “I’ve been learning a lot, doing practical work and labouring for the first 12 months on site at Sheila Fell Close in Aspatria. It’s good. It’s gone very well.

“I’ll be going to Carlisle College next September to do a bricklayers’ course.

“A lot of my friends are struggling to get jobs and are having to go to college because they can’t find work.”

The other apprentices with Lattimer Homes are bricklayer Jack Bullock, 19, of Wigton; labourer Wayne Longman, 19, of Fletchertown; and labourer Bradley Thompson, 18, of Aspatria.

The latest intake means the company, established in 1970, is now employing nearly 40 people. Its major current developments include ones at Cumdivock, near Dalston, and at James Duffield Close in Workington.

Lattimer Homes is part of the multi award-winning Lattimer Group.

Director George Lattimer said: “We are conscious of constantly maintaining our hard-earned reputation for top-quality craftsmanship but we also recognise the need to develop new skills among the next generation.

“This is why we look to take on enthusiastic local youngsters with the right attitude whenever we can and train them on the job and through college.

“It also shows there are still jobs out there for young people and it keeps the whole thing fresh to have new blood coming into the business.”

Lattimer’s make their apprentices do 12 months on the job before they go to college to get Construction Industry Training Board qualifications.

“It shows you don’t have to go to college before you get a job or an apprenticeship,” Mr Lattimer added.

“Our latest batch are doing really well. We are really pleased with them.”

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