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Shadow Housing Minister celebrates apprentice success

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Shadow Housing Minister celebrates apprentice success

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Published by Jamie Angus for Wolverhampton Homes in Housing and also in Central Government, Local Government

Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds MP joins Pat McFadden MP and a team of LEAPers from Wolverhampton Homes Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds MP joins Pat McFadden MP and a team of LEAPers from Wolverhampton Homes

Shadow Housing Minister, Emma Reynolds MP, has hailed a housing apprentice scheme as ‘blazing a trail’ after celebrating the success of council tenants who have secured apprenticeships, work experience and training with Wolverhampton Homes.

Emma Reynolds joined forces with fellow Wolverhampton MP, Pat McFadden (Lab, Wolverhampton South-East) to hear first-hand the experience of local council tenants who have found work and training through Wolverhampton Homes’ double-award winning LEAP programme.

Wolverhampton Homes, the Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) which manages more than 23,000 homes in the city on behalf of the council, launched its Learning, Employment and Achievement Programme, dubbed ‘LEAP’, last year and has so far helped more than 100 council tenants and their families to get work experience, training and qualification opportunities.

LEAP has so far taken on 36 apprentices and has seen 16 tenants secure full time jobs. One LEAP graduate, tenant, Michelle Sawyer, 41, who lives in Bilston, left school with no qualifications and, up until she joined LEAP twelve months ago, had never worked. Last month she was named ‘Apprentice of the Year’ for the West Midlands.

The Shadow Housing Minister said:

Wolverhampton Homes’ LEAP programme which helping get tenants back into work, is truly impressive. As Shadow Housing Minister, I visit other housing providers across the country and I know that Wolverhampton Homes is blazing a trail in successfully getting their tenants back to work”.

Fellow Wolverhampton MP, Pat McFadden, added:

“The Wolverhampton LEAP programme is great. No social landlord has to run a programme like this.  They could concentrate purely on allocating housing, collecting rent and carrying out repairs. But Wolverhampton Homes, to their credit, are doing far more than that.  They are using their economic power to increase opportunity for their tenants by offering them work experience, apprenticeships and jobs.  Hearing the stories of people who had never worked before or who we're unhappy in previous jobs and how their lives had been turned around by the LEAP programme was inspiring.”

The double-award winning LEAP programme last month beat of competition from national and international household names like NatWest, Vodafone, O2 and ASDA to be named as winner of the Peer Awards for Excellence for its work in supporting the local community.

Sue Roberts MBE, a council tenant in the city, Chair of Wolverhampton Homes and Chair of the NFA (National Federation of ALMOs) has praised the local apprentices and how they’ve developed on the scheme:

“Tenants came to us asking for help so they could get the skills they needed to get into work so it’s wonderful to see that the tenants we’ve taken on through the LEAP programme have worked so hard to make the most of this opportunity. It’s wonderful to see how they’ve learnt, how they’ve developed and how they’ve grown in confidence since they first started.

Apprenticeships are so important for people to gain experience and offer a great opportunity to give people that helping hand they need to get back into work which in turn boosts our local economy”.

Tenants wanting to know more about the LEAP apprenticeship programme should visit www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/LEAP.

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