Housing organisation Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) is embarking on a major expansion of its apprenticeship scheme.
The Arms Length Management Organisation, set up by Newcastle City Council to manage and improve council homes and related housing services, is to double the number of apprentices it takes on to this year to 20, before upping that figure to 30 by 2015.
The move comes after a successful year for the scheme, which saw seven of YHN’s 10 apprentices securing full-time jobs before they finish their placements at the end of this month.
YHN is also responding to the impact of welfare reform and the continuing difficulties faced by many in their search for employment.
Employability manager Stuart Campbell said: “We’ve read many recent news reports regarding decreases in unemployment rates but that just doesn’t marry up with what we’re seeing on our estates.
“Many of our tenants genuinely want to work but it can be difficult for those who haven’t done so for a long time to get back into employment and our young people often struggle the most.
“As an organisation, we are committed to providing more than just housing – we want to create and maintain prosperous and proud communities, and the sense of worth fostered through earning your own money is intrinsic to this.”
He added that company’s apprentices had been “fantastic” this year, working hard and developing confidence, skills and experience they can take into the workplace.
“It’s not just the apprentices that have benefitted from taking part in the scheme, though – it’s been hugely beneficial for YHN as an organisation to have extra staff at a very busy time,” he said. “The Government’s changes to benefits have led to an increased demand for our services. Taking on young people as apprentices has allowed staff to focus their attention on key areas, including providing our customers with the additional support they need to adapt to the welfare reform changes.”
YHN also runs a successful programme called Your Homes Your Jobs, designed to increase employability among older tenants through six month paid work placements that provide vital experience and help individuals gain credible references from recognised employers.
More details and application forms for the apprenticeship scheme can be found at www.yhn.org.uk .
Anyone with further queries should contact YHN on 0191 278 8600.