Together Housing

group of mixed students all gathered together looking in a textbook

The Together Housing Group is not just known for building and managing homes, it also does the same for careers.

One of the biggest social landlords, spanning the North of England, the Group has a nationally-recognised and multi award-winning apprenticeship programme.

With more than 37,000 homes across and around 1,300 staff members, it continues its pledge to implement a rolling annual programme of 50 apprentices at any one time in specialisms such as business, construction, horticulture as well as back office services.

As part of the group’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Together Housing targets its apprenticeship recruitment towards tenants and their families, helping to provide secure job opportunities for young people who fall into the NEET category.

Alison Clews, skills & enterprise co-ordinator, said: “The majority of our recruits come from low achieving or disadvantaged backgrounds, so an apprenticeship programme that provides exceptional mentoring and one-on-one support to help build confidence and develop new skills is ideal.

“When it comes to hiring at apprentice, we look at the levels of support senior staff members are able to provide within that department to ensure we offer the very best training and development scheme.”

Together Housing has been working with Training 2000 since 2011. The group currently employs six Business Administration apprentices and is in the process of recruiting a seventh.

With six housing associations forming the partnership, four of the Business Administration apprentices occupy positions with Blackburn-based Twin Valley Homes, the borough’s largest registered social landlord that manages around 8,000 properties.

Another two apprentices and the current vacancy are based at Green Vale Homes, a non-for-profit industrial and provident society located in Rossendale.

As part of the two-year programme, apprentices have the opportunity to work in four additional departments, spending one day a week in a certain area of the business.

Alison added: “Our apprentices do four rotations in two years, with this journey designed to help them gain maximum exposure and a rounded understanding of the business.

“During the first six months, we monitor each apprentice to see where their strengths and interests lie and then partner them with the departments that suit their skillset to help them flourish.

“This also gives our apprentices a greater chance of employment when it comes to the end of their programme, with a wider breadth of skills ensuring suitability for different vacancies.”

Through the accomplishments of the apprenticeship programme, the group boasts a 99% success rate, with nearly every apprentice securing a full-time role following the completion of their training programme.

“Growing and moulding our own workforce through the continued use of Apprenticeships has enabled us to reap outstanding levels of staff loyalty and retention,” Alison continued.

“We’ve created dedicated staff members and a team spirit that’s envied by many and we look forward to strengthening this further as the business grows and evolves.”

Together Housing Group was nominated for Large Employer of the Year at the 2014 National Apprenticeship Awards, which celebrates businesses that are able to showcase a commitment, contribution and success that Apprenticeships bring to their organisation.

The Apprenticeship programme is co-funded with the European Union European Social Fund (ESF)

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