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Apprentice campaign wins award

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Apprentice campaign wins award

MERLIN HOUSING SOCIETY Logo

Published by jessica.britton for Merlin Housing Society in Housing and also in Education

Merlin’s Managing Director Winston Williams chats to Otis Byrne at its apprentice open day. Merlin’s Managing Director Winston Williams chats to Otis Byrne at its apprentice open day.

A campaign to recruit apprentices scooped Marketing Campaign of the Year award at the Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle Women in Business Awards last week.

Merlin Housing Society’s marketing campaign was named best in the west at a glitzy awards ceremony at the Bristol Marriott Hotel on Wednesday evening. The campaign was aimed at increasing the numbers of applicants from under-represented groups in Merlin’s workforce, such as BME (black and minority ethnic) and women, as 99% of previous apprentice applicants had been white men.

To achieve this Merlin sent out a targeted mailshot to its customers and to other housing associations in Bristol, set up new web pages featuring stories from past and present apprentices, including a new video showing a day in the life of apprentice carpenter Luke Naish. It also advertised on Ujima Radio, sent posters to local schools and job centres, and held an open evening in Whitehall, where would-be apprentices would try their hands at different trades, all supported by regular updates on Facebook and Twitter.

As a result of all this activity more than 200 people expressed an interest in the apprentices and 101 people applied. Of those that applied 14% were from a BME background, 8% were female and 4% were disabled. And out of the nine new apprentices due to start work in the next few weeks, three are women and three are BME.

Merlin’s Communications Manager Faye Galvin said: "It’s amazing. We didn’t expect to win; we just wanted to do some work to encourage apprentices into our business, particularly from underrepresented groups in those sectors."

The apprentice campaign won the award ahead of the marketing campaign for the Bath Fashion Show which generated more than £1m worth of advertising-equivalent content in newspapers and magazines.

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