Kier Stoke continues commitment to tackling local unemployment
Published by Elizabeth Pokorny for Kier Services in Housing and also in Communities
Russ Sims and Matt Hall
As National Apprenticeship Week runs across the UK, Kier Stoke is celebrating its position as one of the area’s largest providers of vital training opportunities for local young people. Since Kier’s joint venture partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council began in 2008, Kier Stoke has employed 32 full-time apprentices and supported nearly 200 young people across the region.
The Kier Stoke apprentices, who are all from the local area, work alongside dedicated mentors while carrying out NVQ qualifications at Stoke College or a HNC at Staffordshire University.
In addition to apprenticeships, Kier offers a rolling programme of work experience through its supply chain of over 60 Staffordshire-based businesses to youngsters looking to start their career, which is often extended into an apprenticeship offer.
Every year Kier Stoke also opens its doors to pupils from local schools on a range of work placements. Since the programme began, the company has welcomed over 24 pupils, who have gained experience in areas such as health & safety, customer services and resource control.
Furthering its commitment to young people, Kier Stoke attends local careers conventions at North Staffordshire schools to showcase the company and offer advice to students interested in pursuing a career in construction.
Kier regional managing director, David Mawson, said: “Due to increased competition and fewer jobs many young people are struggling to find employment. Kier is dedicated to providing training positions for school leavers and work experience programmes, giving these young people the skills and on-the-job learning to help give them a competitive edge.
“At Kier, we strive to make a positive contribution to the local community and are proud of the opportunities we can offer local young people.”
Cllr Janine Bridges, cabinet member for housing, neighbourhoods and community safety, said: “It is more vital than ever for young people to have the opportunity to take their first step on the career ladder and to work towards a successful future. Apprenticeships like those offered by Kier Stoke are ideal for ambitious youngsters who want to gain qualifications while earning money at the same time.
“We are celebrating our fifth year in partnership with Kier Stoke and are delighted that the joint venture has seen 32 full-time apprentices employed, as well as supporting hundreds of other young people across the region. The innovative partnership has also benefited the wider community by boosting Stoke-on-Trent’s economy with the local supply chain receiving an annual investment of £11m. A key aim in the city council’s Mandate for Change is to support and develop existing businesses and we are working closely with Kier Stoke to deliver on that pledge.”
National Apprenticeship Week takes place from 11-15 March 2013, celebrating the positive impact apprentices have on individuals and businesses, with hundreds of events and activities across England