How Bromford works for young people… and they work for us
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Young people are making the most of a chance to break into the world of work through a package of job placements and apprenticeships with Bromford in Cirencester.
The first successful work placements with the affordable housing group have just come to an end - and one Gloucestershire recruit, Jolene Fahy, is now moving on to a two-year apprenticeship in housing management.
Two Bromford apprentices are already at work with Bromford's repairs and landscaping teams in Gloucestershire and more new placements and apprenticeships will be created this year.
Colleagues at Cirencester Office Park couldn't let the end of their first six-month placements pass without celebration.
So they gathered on Wednesday (July 6) as Bromford Living's Gloucestershire head of neighbourhoods, Suzanne Shead, handed over cards and gifts together with warm words of praise for all that Jolene and fellow Future Jobs Fund recruit Lois Thompson have achieved since joining at the start of the year.
Jolene now moves on - having won through a formal interview process- to a two-year Bromford apprenticeship which will equip her with the skills and knowledge she needs to become a housing manager.
Lois is leaving Bromford with six months of precious workplace experience that can only improve her chance of landing a job elsewhere. She said: "Finding the right job is never easy but my placement with Bromford makes a real difference to my CV and I have really enjoyed my time here."
Jolene said: "I was delighted - and surprised - to get the apprenticeship. It's a really great opportunity. My confidence has grown a lot since I started here. So has my understanding of the workplace."
Suzanne said: "We are really pleased with the success of these first placements - and delighted that one of these opportunities has translated into a two-year apprenticeship with Bromford for Jolene.
"Both have blossomed in terms of confidence and work-related skills during their time here and we have all learned so much from each other. It's been a real benefit for everyone.
"We are sure that Jolene will make a great success of her opportunity as an apprentice in housing management - and wish Loise very success in using her experience here to impress employers in the wider job market."
Lois and Jolene were two of 15 people aged between 18 and 24 who broke into the world of work with Future Jobs Fund (FJF) placements across the Bromford map, which includes much of central England as well as Gloucestershire.
The FJF scheme has ended and Bromford has replaced this with its own version of the scheme, called Opportunities for Employment, or O4E.
Bromford' s economic inclusion manager, James Walsh, said: "Lois and Jolene are great examples of how placements at Bromford can help customers and other young people in our neighbourhoods to gain precious workplace experience.
"Although we make it clear at the start that there is no guarantee of a job at the end of the placement, we do hope that candidates who do well will go on to apply for the new apprenticeship opportunities with Bromford.
"For those who don't secure one of these opportunities, we will work with them to package their skills and experience to hopefully secure employment externally.
"The FJF initiative gave us an opportunity to test the idea and helped us to shape our ideas for O4E. Linking our O4E and apprenticeship schemes will create up to 75 internal work opportunities over the next five years.
"This will help us progress our aims to build the skills capability of our customers and provide better access to a wider range of employment opportunities."
To find out more about how Bromford is making a real difference to job prospects for customers and the wider community, read the Annual Review 2011, Bromford Street. You can download a PDF version or view the 24-page report online at www.bromfordgroup.co.uk