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A young apprentice is building a firm foundation for her dream job as she takes her first steps on the property ladder.

JW Wood in Chester-le-Street has recently recruited Hannah Murphy as a young apprentice to train and gain experience in its fast-moving  estate agency.

Hannah, 17, of Sacriston, said: “I couldn’t believe it when they called me to say I had got the job. I was really surprised, but over the moon.  “I have always been fascinated by  houses and property, and am so pleased to be a part of this business.” 

Specialising in property sales and lettings throughout County Durham since 1910, JW Wood is a leading agency renowned for the knowledge and expertise of its staff across six branches.

Director Adrian Siddall said: “Apprenticeships are such a great opportunity to learn the job you really want to do. There is so much to learn in an estate agent’s office and this is a great way to be shown all aspects of the job that occur every day.  “Getting young people to work with us at a grass roots level and being able to train them our way is a great benefit to us and a real investment for the future.”

Since she was a child, Hannah has had a love of houses: “I can remember playing with a giant dolls’ house when I was a little girl. I loved it and enjoyed making it look good. I guess that has never left me.

“I really enjoy finding out about the different properties, what people have done to the interiors and how they look – it’s really interesting.”

Hannah is also studying for a National Vocational Qualification in business administration Level 2 while she is working, which will support her on-the-job training with JW Wood.

She is visited by a tutor each month and is assessed on telephone and ICT skills as well as how she deals with customer enquiries.  “I have gained so much confidence since I started working here.

Everyone supports me and encourages me to do well,” said Hannah. “I really enjoy the variety of the work. My dream job is to be a sales negotiator or a valuer one day.”

“We have a very low staff turnover here, which is great,” said Adrian. “We like to have people who we can train and keep with us long-term, which is why this works. It is definitely the way forward for us.”

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