Airport Group Creates 1,000 Apprenticeships
Published by Ashley M for Helena Partnerships in Housing and also in Education
Helena's apprentice Cassi Pickavance won Best Apprentice Under 25 at the 2012 Women in Construction Awards
More than 1,000 young people across the North of England have been given the opportunity to earn while they learn thanks to apprenticeships created by a group of social housing providers.
The apprentices have been recruited over the last three years by the Airport Group - an alliance of 14 housing associations with 175,000 homes and 5,000 staff across the North - which come together to create work and training opportunities. Since 2011, the group has maintained a promise to create an apprenticeship for every £1 million it spends and already delivered 233 years’ worth of work based training in the last 12 months.
Joe Doherty, Airport Group Co-ordinator and Chief Executive of Willow Park Housing Trust, said: “Across the North, Airport Group members are operating at the heart of communities to help people find employment, training and enterprise opportunities.
“The diverse nature of housing associations means we can offer training in everything from construction to IT and by working together the Airport Group is able to do this on a large scale.”
Last month, the Airport Group signed the National Housing Federation’s North West Apprenticeship Pledge to ensure that at least 5% of its workforce is made up of apprentices by March 2013. The group is now on track to beat this target, with 300 apprentices making up 6% of its total workforce, and has also provided 287 work placements for under 25s and 237 work placements for under 16s over the last 12 months.
Derek Long, Head of North for the National Housing Federation, said: “This alliance of housing associations is giving the next generation the chance to get into work against a backdrop of high youth unemployment in the North.
“By offering opportunities to train in a vast range of trades, over 1,000 young people have had their lives transformed.”
The Airport Group is also encouraging young people to start their own businesses through the Young Starship Enterprise competition, which sees budding entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to a Dragons Den-style panel. Local finalists will be invited to attend the Airport Group’s Young Flyers Awards in Manchester next May, where an overall winner will be announced.
The Airport Group is made up of Peaks & Plains Housing Trust; City West Housing Trust; Community Gateway Association; Eastlands Homes; Helena Partnerships; Incommunities Group; New Charter Housing Trust; One Vision Housing; Parkway Green Housing Trust; Together Housing Group; Trafford Housing Trust; Weaver Vale Housing Trust; Willow Park Housing Trust; Wirral Partnership Homes. To find out more about the Airport Group visit www.theairportgroup.co.uk