Question time for Home Group apprentices
Published by M Parker for Home Group in Housing and also in Communities, Education
Caption: Left to right: Home Group apprentice Matthew Blake, Gateshead MP Ian Mearns and Home Group apprentice Mirsad Suljic.
APPRENTICES from one of the UK’s largest social housing providers have travelled to Westminster to brief MPs.
Apprentices from Home Group – the north east’s largest social landlord – travelled from the region to the House of Commons to discuss with MPs the important role securing an apprenticeship has made to their lives.
Home Group was invited to take part in the briefing session due to its expertise in recruiting and training apprentices. The session was hosted by Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson.
The Newcastle based company is currently creating more than 200 apprenticeship or work experience roles.
Four apprentices, Matt Blake, 29, from Deckham, Gateshead, Mirsad Suljic, 25, from Arthur’s Hill, Newcastle, Stacey Hart, 19, and Alice Dryden, 19, both from Batley, West Yorkshire, made the journey from the north east and Yorkshire to the corridors of power. They were led by Sarah Borien, Home Group’s apprenticeship delivery manager.
She said: “It was great to travel to Westminster and get a chance to speak with MPs face to face about apprenticeships. We really got a chance to impress upon these key decision makers just how important apprenticeships can be for those who want to enter the world of work, yet continue to learn and gain qualifications at the same time.
“The four apprentices spoke about how they enjoyed combining the practical side of work with the opportunity for further study. We believe that when they do move on to find full time employment the experience they’ve gained from working with one of the north east’s largest companies combined with their qualifications will give them an edge in the competitive jobs market.
“Our apprenticeships are open to people of all ages. There have been some criticisms of companies using apprenticeships as cheap labour but at Home Group we pay our apprentices at least whatever the minimum wage is for their age.
"Many of our apprentices have said this commitment has made it possible for them to take up an apprenticeship.”
One of those who spoke with MPs was Matt Blake. The apprentice events co-ordinator said: “Coming to the House of Commons and speaking with MPs has been a really good experience.
“Since joining Home Group I’ve become involved in a lot of events which have widened my experience of the working world.”