Social landlord Coastline Housing has welcomed another four apprentices. The four new colleagues will be working in the charity’s technical services, housing and sales and development teams, learning about the many and diverse careers the housing industry has to offer.

Their arrival brings the company’s apprentice team to a total of nine and the new quartet are demonstrating that apprenticeships can be embarked upon from a variety of different career backgrounds at any age.

Technical services apprentice Mike Thomas worked as an assistant manager in a well-known fast food restaurant before deciding on a career change and applying for the Coastline role. "I’m thoroughly enjoying my apprenticeship," he said.

"Before I started, I was unsure as to what social housing was all about but now I’m starting to understand the importance of the industry and its impact on the community. What I’m enjoying most is visiting the diverse range of houses and customers within Coastline and learning about construction and general housing repairs.”

Mike’s fellow apprentice Matthew Nellyer has also taken a completely different direction in his career. He previously worked in catering at hotels and pubs in St Ives for the past 16 years.

Meanwhile, Gayle Rice joins Coastline after graduating two years ago from Plymouth University with a degree in creative contemporary practice. She says: “During this time I also was a single parent and worked part time for a local wrap-around child care provider. I really enjoyed the challenge of completing a degree, especially as I left school with few qualifications. Now my children are older I wanted to improve my career and an apprenticeship seemed like a great way to gain experience and knowledge in a supportive environment.”

Finally, development apprentice Fraser Short joins the charity after spending some time working for a local floor and upholstery cleaning business.

David Wingham, director of corporate services at Coastline, said: “The housing industry and the many careers it can offer up is rarely one that’s talked about at schools or colleges but it can offer a multitude of rewarding career paths from working on the frontline dealing with tenancy or homeless matters, through to surveying, development, legal, IT, finance roles and many more."