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No easy ride for RHP apprentices

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Published by Eddie for Richmond Housing Partnership Limited in Housing and also in Communities, Education

L&D Advisor Geraldine Clarke with Apprentice Stephanie Rodd L&D Advisor Geraldine Clarke with Apprentice Stephanie Rodd

Ahead of National Apprenticeship Week in March, London housing association RHP announced that it is continuing its apprenticeship scheme for the fourth year running. The scheme opens up opportunities across the business to young people in Richmond and Hounslow through partnerships with Way to Work, Fit for Sport and the Give us a Chance Consortium.

RHP was named Most Supportive Employer at the Way to Work Awards 2012. Geraldine Clarke, RHP’s Learning & Development Advisor, says that the key to success for RHP apprentices has been to adapt to individual learning styles and to occasionally take candidates out of their comfort zone.

Geraldine says: “We like to stretch our apprentices – it helps to develop their confidence and gets them the skills that they need, rather than just keeping them behind a desk all day. We make sure our apprentices get involved in all areas of the business to give them a good perspective of the different careers available in housing.”

RHP currently has six apprentices, nominated by Way to Work and Fit for Sport and working across the business. The Give Us a Chance Consortium has also helped to nominate 12 additional apprentices to work out on estates with RHP’s Caretaking teams. One of these new recruits has already been offered full time employment with RHP.

Four of RHP’s previous apprentices have completed their NVQs and secured permanent employment with the company. Apprentice Stephanie Rodd, currently working with the Communications team, says: “Since I joined RHP in 2012, my confidence has grown massively. I love working in an office environment and I’m constantly learning new things. I feel like my prospects have really improved and I’m excited about what the future holds.”

The organisation also recently registered as a licensed centre for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, and will support more than 20 young customers to complete the Bronze Award in 2013-14.

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