Circle announces creation of more than 230 apprenticeship opportunities
Apprentice grounds maintenance workers Alex Messenger (left) and Jamie Crouch (right) celebrate National Apprenticeship Week
More than 230 apprenticeship opportunities are to be created as part of Circle Housing Group’s repairs and maintenance (R&M) overhaul, Circle’s Head of Sustainable Communities, Bina Omare, is announcing today.
Under the new R&M arrangement, which is now being rolled out across all Circle’s areas of operation, each contractor will provide one apprenticeship opportunity within their business for every £0.5m that Circle spends with them. This means that over the 10-year lifespan of the new R&M contracts, Circle expects to create 233 apprenticeship opportunities. In addition, Circle's contractors will also offer 77 graduate placements or internships, 309 work placements and 166 volunteering opportunities within their businesses.
The announcement – which coincides with National Apprenticeship Week – is further good news for many of Circle’s customers who are keen to actively seeking work in an ever competitive job market. Earlier this week, Circle launched its brand new employment and skills portal to give job-seekers a helping hand into the world of work.
Bina Omare, Head of Sustainable Communities, said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way of bringing new talent into a business. For our contractors, it’s a win-win situation: apprenticeships help them to increase their capacity and fulfil their corporate social responsibilities. And a result of Circle’s new arrangement, we can now offer our customers a wider range of new and exciting opportunities. It’s all part of our mission to enhance life chances.”
Circle Housing Group signed its first contracts to deliver its new repairs and maintenance service in January 2013, when Keepmoat and United House were formally appointed to provide responsive and planned repairs respectively in the housing group’s Southern Region. Their appointment follows one of the largest procurement processes in the sector, after Circle announced its decision procure contracts as a Group, rather than as individual housing associations. This streamlined approach will deliver a better service for Circle’s customers and bring about value for money, meaning Circle can invest more back into its communities as a result.
Caroline Hogg, Partnering Manager at Keepmoat, said: “Keepmoat is committed to supporting the communities in which we work and providing training for young people through apprenticeship opportunities is a great way doing that. Circle’s initiative of creating one apprenticeship opportunity for every £0.5m spent with contractors is a great idea and we’re looking forward to working together to train the next generation of skilled tradesmen and women.”