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Proud to be investing in apprenticeships, by Fiona Deal, Executive Director of People and Culture

For the end of National Apprenticeship Week 2018, we hear from Fiona Deal - our Executive Director of People and Culture on the importance of apprenticeships and Network Homes' new apprenticeship scheme. 

This week is National Apprenticeship Week. Here at Network Homes we’re putting together our own apprenticeships scheme and apprenticeship training programme. It’s a key way to address the skills shortage impacting the whole housing sector. And what could be better than offering a training programme, a qualification and a new employment opportunity all wrapped into one?

“Recent statistics show the number of people embarking on apprenticeships fell by 35% in November 2017 when the Department for Education registered just over 27,000 apprenticeships. This has dropped since 2016 where it was 41,600. While this may be disappointing, I hope the introduction of the apprenticeship levy which came into force in April 2017 will change this landscape.

It’s clear apprenticeships can be a key way of launching careers. We already have in place a successful graduate scheme which is now in its eighth year. In recent years, four out of five of the graduates who’ve joined us have gained full time employment with us. We plan to have the same success story for our new apprentices who will join us later this year.

The apprenticeship at Network Homes will be a fantastic opportunity to get real life, hands on experience while also working on a qualification with the possibility of full time employment at the end. Apprenticeships are open to those who are 16 years old and above. They can be a great alternative to A-Levels or going to University and an option I want young people to strongly consider.

Apprenticeships are equally beneficial to us as a business as they are to the young people undertaking the apprenticeship. We want to build a strong, talented team with people who are here to work but also to learn and get involved with everything we have going on.

An apprentice has the opportunity to learn much more than just how to do one job or how to achieve a qualification. They have the chance to learn about different roles within the business and accumulate many skills as they go. They’ll be able to explore a variety of ways of working and the skills needed to progress their careers. This includes: people skills, problem solving and technical skills – these are all often skills many don’t have.

Here at Network Homes, we’re proud to be investing in apprenticeships and I’m looking forward to see what the apprentices will achieve!”

Watch this space for the launch of the Network Homes apprenticeship scheme.