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Contractor hunts for apprentices

Construction firm Astins is searching for 30 apprentices to be trained in its new £1 million institute – with guaranteed jobs for those who complete the course.

The £25 million-turnover company is holding an open day at the Astins Institute in London on Thursday 16 April in search of the next generation of talent.

An Astins Institute spokeswoman said: “Times are tough at the moment. Jobs are hard to find, especially for young people.

“The apprenticeship is a two-year programme, providing salaried work, training and work experience. At the end of the two years, each apprentice will have an NVQ II qualification and experience in all areas of internal construction and fit out including carpentry, metal working and dry lining.”

She added: “There will be a guaranteed career at Astins for those who successfully complete the two-year apprenticeship.”

The firm is particularly interested in hiring women in their late teens and early twenties, but all are welcome and no qualifications are required.

The Astins Institute will be running the first female-only courses in dry lining, along with other apprenticeship programmes.

The spokeswoman said: “The UK construction industry is riddled with sexism. Its record in the employment of women is embarrassing. Less than 1 per cent of construction site workers are women. Astins believe this has to change if the construction industry is to develop to its full potential.”