Social landlord's apprenticeship scheme prompted by 2011's riots
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Communities and also in Housing, Legal
Young rioter comes face to face with victim
A social landlord's apprenticeship scheme, which was prompted by 2011's riots in Birmingham, has worked with 21 young people deemed at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour.
'Back on Track' was set up by landlord Midland Heart after feedback from its tenants cited youth unemployment, feelings of alienation and disconnection from community life and society as the causes of 2011's carnage.
And according to Midland Heart, local and national government has looked at the scheme's potential to deliver significant benefits and savings, and its potential to make a significant impact on individuals and business.
The programme's interim report suggests that over two years it could save the government £1.8m in the areas of crime, health and welfare payments - which means for every £1 invested there will be £5.60 in benefits to society.
Gail Walters of Midland Heart said: “Apprenticeship schemes should be open to all but competition is fierce and many of our apprentices would find it a challenge to secure a place without additional support.
“Birmingham has around 15,000 unemployed young people and we have found that ‘Back on Track’ has not only boosted staff morale and productivity, but has had a positive impact in the workplace."
Apprentice Ahmed Jaylani said: “Being an apprentice means I am able to move my life in a different direction.
“I have responsibilities, people rely on me to turn up to work and make a difference. Since I have been working here my confidence has grown, I can speak to people easily which has also made a huge difference in my family life.
“The ‘Back on Track’ programme has set my mind straight, I don’t want to go back to where I was before – I now have a reason to get up in a morning. It has been a huge learning experience for me and I don’t want it to stop.”
All of the apprentices on the programme have been referred through West Midlands Police, the youth offending service or other partner organisations.