A NEWPORT man, who was out of work for a year, began an apprenticeship with Newport City Homes yesterday after winning a construction competition.

Craig Simpson, 22, was offered a two-year plumbing apprenticeship with Newport City Homes after impressing judges at the Construction Youth Trust’s Real Apprentice competition last week.

Mr Simpson, of Bettws, was one of seven unemployed contestants who learned a variety of construction skills from industry experts as they worked to transform two flats at Raglan Court, Pill.

During the eight-week competition contestants fitted kitchens and bathrooms, plastered walls and re wired electrics at the flats, which will soon be ready for new tenants.

They were helped by interior design students from the University of Glamorgan who helped them furnish the properties for just £200 using recycled furniture.

Mr Simpson said: “It’s been fantastic, I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve learned a lot from electrics to tiling and everything in between. I cannot wait to get started.”

The other contestants will continue to receive support with finding jobs from the Construction Youth Trust, which last year was awarded a £25,000 grant from the National Lottery funded People’s Million competition.