Housing group joins UK’s biggest firms on top employers list

Cestria, a housing association based in County Durham, has been included in the ‘Top employers for school leavers’ list, ranking alongside the likes of Virgin Media, B.T and the BBC.

Cestria is based in Chester-Le-Street, County Durham and helps families and individuals find temporary and permanent accommodation. The firm contains 160 employees, many of whom are apprentices.

The housing group has been ranked the 24th best employer for school and college leavers in a list of 72, placing higher than internationally recognised companies such as Lloyds bank, Harrods, Boots and Nestle.

National Grid topped the list, followed by credit card giants Visa and Tangerine PR.

Companies included on the list were voted for by their own apprentices and a number of apprenticeship trainees.

The list was created by education company AllAboutSchoolLeavers as it looks to recognise firms that deliver the best apprenticeship training and support.

Apprentices rated their companies based on a number of factors, including skills development, career progression, salary, working environment, work-life balance and overall job satisfaction.

Christine Wilkinson, human resources manager at Cestria was delighted that her company had made it onto the prestigious list.

‘‘We had no idea we were going to make it onto the list so it was a fantastic surprise, especially when you look at some of the other organisations included, many of which are national London-based businesses.’’

‘‘The fact that the awards are based on apprentice feedback is a great endorsement for our apprenticeship programme, which is something we have put a lot of investment into over recent years.’’

‘‘We are really keen to provide people with the skills they need to enter the job market and some of our apprentices have now gone on to get permanent jobs with us so we are really investing in the future of our organisation at the same time.’’