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Apprenticeships with a guarantee

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Bromford is launching a new apprenticeship scheme for customers, which guarantees a permanent role on successful completion and one that offers a great starting salary of £13,500 with a clear progression route.  

By ensuring all roles are above the living wage, Bromford gives people the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.

The first apprenticeships to be advertised are in trade, construction and support work. Two roles will be available in each area initially. Michelle Beardshaw, head of HR said: “We are starting small as we want to see 100 per cent success and build from there. We are aiming to introduce a minimum of 18 apprenticeships over the next three years.

“We believe in growing our own and these apprenticeships will also help those already in roles at Bromford to progress to the next step via ‘traineeships’. For example, an apprentice can take on an existing role when they have met key milestones and the colleague they replace can then start their traineeship, getting the training and experience they need to equip them for their next role. Part of having apprenticeships is to support succession planning. As colleagues move on, we will have others ready to replace them.

Trade apprenticeships will run over a three-year period teaching multi-trade (plumbing and carpentry) and support workers will be on a six-month apprenticeship. Michelle continued: “This is really an extension of what we’ve always done in support work in that we have recruited on attitude and not experience, providing shadowing and learning whilst delivering the service. What is different with this is that we will provide intense training to get people job ready before they move into full role delivering the service.”

Bromford has a strong record in offering opportunities via apprenticeships. This new scheme has taken learnings from a structured programme with a qualification and job at the end that was run ten years ago. Several colleagues who took on apprenticeships in 2004 are all still with the social enterprise:

Nathan Deen said: “Myself and four others were given a fantastic opportunity to be taken on as trainee building surveyors. From day one, I was astonished by the number of colleagues that offered their support and, more importantly, their time. Three months after joining Bromford, I was encouraged to embark on a two-year HNC building studies course.

“Throughout my studies nothing was too much trouble. When I asked for help from colleagues I felt like they really cared about how I was doing and wanted me to succeed. Myself and the other trainees were placed in different areas of the business and rotated around to get a feel of the types of job roles involved within the company. This worked really well and made me a more rounded colleague who was able to understand the different challenges and aspects across the business.

“After two years, I completed my HNC course and was offered a permanent position - in what is now called the new homes team. At around the same time I also enrolled at university to continue my studies and undertake a building surveying degree with full support and funding from Bromford.

“As my degree progressed, so did my career. I had a great secondment opportunity with our in-house construction team and completed my degree with first class honours in 2011. Soon after I took on the role of contracts manager in new homes. The great thing about it all is that along the way I have had the opportunity to learn from, and work with, some fantastic colleagues and I am privileged that Bromford set me off on a journey and invested their time and money in me and my career.”

Another apprentice, Tom Isherwood said: “I left school to be a game keeper but I needed to do something else and saw an ad for an apprenticeship surveyor in the local paper. I thought I’d give it a go and went along to an assessment day – I didn’t know what to expect and had never done anything like that before but everyone was so friendly and I was successful! I undertook an apprenticeship with a day-release to university. Whilst it took me five years compared to being at university full time, it really helped me understand the world of work. It is testament to Bromford that we are all still here ten years on and I think apprenticeships are a great opportunity, especially in construction."

Michelle concluded: “Our jobs clubs, skills coaches, housing managers and support workers have all been working with customers to nominate those who we think are job ready so we are now looking forward to kicking off assessment days to find our next stars!"

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