Sensational six from Dorset start apprentice programme

Six ambitious people from Dorset aiming to become trades professionals have been accepted on to a local housing associations’ popular apprentice programme.

The trainees’ include:

  • Emily Screen(19) from Weymouth
  • Harriet Ward (20) from Poole
  • Owen Thomas (16) from Wimborne
  • Mason McMann (16) from Bere Regis
  • Alex Meikle (32) from Weymouth
  • Jacob Stanley (31) from Bournemouth.

 Emily, Harriet, Alex and Owen have all opted to undertake apprenticeships in plumbing and heating, while Jacob is working towards an apprenticeship in gas. Mason is pursuing an apprenticeship in carpentry.

Owen was inspired to apply for an Aster apprenticeship by his family and their experience of being Aster customers. He said: “My grandad was a plumber for many years and he always said he enjoyed his job, so, I decided it was the right trade for me. I also live in an Aster property, and when speaking to tradesmen I always got positive feedback about the job and Aster in general.”

Harriett said: “I’m looking forward to learning loads of new skills, however I am also very excited to be part of a team that will really look after me. I chose plumbing as I believe it suits my skill base, there is always a high demand for plumbers, and I believe it will set me up for life.”

For Jacob and Alex, it’s meant a change of career. Jacob  said: “I was previously working as a removal porter but after six years and with nowhere new to progress within the industry, I decided to make a change. I’m excited to be starting a new career path and can’t wait to get stuck into it.”

For Alex, it was the birth of his son that inspired him to apply: “I wanted to be a plumber when i was 14/15 years old and I did my first year at college when i was 16. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances i wasn't able to finish the course. I’ve wanted to return to plumbing for years and it was because my son was born that gave me the kick i needed to get back into it. I’m really looking forward to the start of a new career.”

 Aster has been running its apprenticeship scheme since 2010. Aimed at attracting new talent into the business and developing a motivated, skilled, and qualified workforce, the Group is currently supporting 36 apprentices, with some embarking on a new qualification alongside their full-time role with Aster.

 Hugh Lambourne, Aster Group operations director (Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall), said: “It’s great to see people of all ages applying for an apprenticeship. With the sector experiencing a skills shortage, we’re keen to hear from those wishing to change career paths. We are also seeing more women thinking about careers in what have traditionally been male dominated roles. It’s something we want to see more of here at Aster and across the sector.

“Our programme means apprentices have the opportunity to work with and learn from experienced, skilled trades people and earn a wage while gaining their qualification. It’s great to see those who have completed the programme go on to make a real difference to our customers and their homes.”

 For more information on apprentice opportunities at Aster, please go to

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