A growing North East employer is creating 20 jobs by launching the first phase of a new rolling apprenticeship initiative.

Seaham-based Great Annual Savings Group (GAS) will open the doors to its new ‘GAS Group Academy’ on 1 June, exactly two years to the day since the company moved into its headquarters at Spectrum Business Park.

The Academy will offer apprenticeships for 20 people initially, with immediate plans for more intakes on a regular basis.

The B2B cost reduction firm has chosen to expand its multi-award winning apprenticeship scheme to facilitate the next stage of its growth, which has seen the firm named on the Centrica Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list already in 2017.

A dedicated team manager will also be recruited to guide all of the new staff through a two-year apprenticeship in Lead Generation.

The GAS Board intends for the Academy to become a full division of the business and create even more jobs for both apprentices and team managers with more phased intakes.

The initiative is extraneous to the Group’s apprenticeship scheme, which will also have its usual annual intake in September 2017.

Bradley Groves, chief executive and chairman of GAS, said: “We’ve seen significant success with our apprenticeship scheme and continue to benefit from what our apprentices bring to the business.

“The GAS Group Academy is unlike anything else in our industry.  We’re breaking the mould with our recruitment and building a new way to bring talent into our industry, while creating opportunities for young people in the North East.

“We’re proud to continue to create employment opportunities in our region.  The aim of the Academy is to produce graduates who will be able to walk straight into a sales-related career and excel.”

The Academy has been developed with the help of training partners Talent Training (UK) LLP, who have advised GAS throughout their apprenticeship scheme and will help manage the applications process.

David Harper, chairman and CEO of Talent Training (UK), said: “Talent training are proud to work in partnership with Great Annual Savings Group to pioneer this industry-leading initiative of attracting new talent to their company.

“GAS have led by example when it comes to the government’s new apprenticeship agenda and helping young people develop a career and skills.

“We are confident that this programme, like the others GAS have launched, will be successful and worthwhile for all that participate.”