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Apprenticeships are becoming a popular route into employment for school leavers and more experienced learners alike. PM Training in Staffordshire, are experts in upskilling staff. They provided training for four apprentices at whg, each of the four came to the training with different starting points and experiences, but all quickly progressed to full time permanent positions. 

Rafal Nowaczyk started as a Business Administrator with the Facilities team in October 2017. Raf had previously worked in debt collection, in PVC and as a teacher. He wanted to use the apprenticeship as a gateway and first step into whg. Training that supported his apprenticeship was extremely valuable to Raf. He commented that: “I feel that an apprentice’s contribution is valued here as much as everyone else's." He feels that apprenticeships are valuable because: “An apprenticeship prepares you with the technical know-how about how businesses work, they are really insightful.”

Lisa Care worked as a Business Administrator apprentice with the Executive Support Team and joined in September 2018. She had previously taken A-levels then spent 5 years travelling around the world. Lisa saw an apprenticeship as a pathway into a career that she would otherwise have been unable to access.

"When we recruited we wanted to raise the bar and worked with PM Training to seek high-quality apprenticeship frameworks and standards to attract a high calibre of learner."

Elaine Woodman, Learning and Development Manager at whg

As she was given more responsibility, Lisa started her Business Administration Apprenticeship choosing modules like minute taking and report writing that fitted with her role. Day courses also added to her skill set and built her confidence. Lisa strongly recommends apprenticeships, pointing out that they are not just for school leavers, anyone can do it. Lisa is now an Acting PA with the Executive Support team.

Itayi Makande started in September 2018 as an apprentice Housing Advisor within the Lettings team. He had previously been a support worker in Milton Keynes and was self-employed as a courier. Itayi hoped to gain new skills and build his confidence through his apprenticeship and he has certainly done so.

Itayi enjoyed sharing his experiences and relaying expectations to potential apprentices at a market place recruitment day. He feels that: “It has given me self-confidence. I've grown within the business and feel the confidence to speak to higher level managers talking about ideas and feedback. The learning and development team provide so much support. My apprenticeship was structured really well by PM Training.” Itayi now has a permanent role as Trainee Housing Advisor with the Negotiations team.

Melissa Jackson joined whg in December 2017 as a Business Admin Apprentice and a year later, became a Trainee Performance Monitoring Officer in the Employment and Training team. Having previously completed an apprenticeship in childcare, she wanted a change in direction and training that was more tailored to her interests. Melissa had thought that she would not be considered for the apprenticeship because of her age, but instead, she found that the scheme provided her with the career change she was looking for and she appreciated being able to learn through getting involved and job shadowing. “If you like to learn valuable skills then definitely go for an apprenticeship,” Melissa recommends. “It makes you more employable as you’ve got not only one or two years’ experience behind you but all the work knowledge. You are doing something different and you’ve got a wage as well.” 

Elaine Woodman, Learning and Development Manager at whg explains that the basis of their highly successful apprenticeship progression starts from recruitment onwards: "When we recruited we wanted to raise the bar and worked with PM Training to seek high-quality apprenticeship frameworks and standards to attract a high calibre of learner."

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