Apprenticeships within New Charter

OUR COMMITMENT                                                                                                                                                       

We are extremely fortunate as a business to be able to change people’s lives every day, through the work we do as a building contractor.  Since March 2000 our portfolio has evolved from repairs, maintenance and investment works purely in social housing to now include hotels and leisure, educational establishments, simple refurbishments and new build developments.

We are proud to contribute to increasing the positive impact and long-term difference that Apprenticeships offer to social inclusion and sustainable employment.  Roles on offer are genuinely attributed to our succession planning activities as well as achieving social return through our work with external clients and wider partnerships.  Our continuing enthusiasm is maintained for new recruits to embark on fully supported journeys to realistic careers, over a fixed term period of professional training relevant to their professions. 

Our Vision is GREAT Homes, GREAT Neighbourhoods and GREAT People, an overarching theme to our corporate plan objectives which encompass -

·        Supporting many more people to lead independent lives

·        Providing strong and sustainable communities by affording customers with opportunities to become economically active

·        Having a highly engaged, highly skilled and well trained resilient workforce

·        Being a much more diverse employer

In turn our apprentices have integrated with our corporate vision and values, supported continued business growth and provided us with a fluidity of talent which contributes greatly to who we are.  Apprentices undergo a period of induction which provides an insight into each area of our wider business, affording them knowledge and understanding of the immediate contributions they can make.  A mentor works alongside our pool of learners, engaging them in our corporate activities and they participate in our attendance at career fairs and recruitment campaigns, by role modelling their own achievements.

THE BUSINESS BENEFITS

Our commitment to working alongside partners and other external clients is to deliver a return on social value in the localities and areas of work we are fortunate to be contracted.  A great example of this provided 14 apprentices with employment and professional qualifications, all recruited from Salford communities and neighbourhoods.  These apprentices gained relevant work experience, qualifications, employment references and much improved career prospects as a result of this business partnership.  In turn, they also ensured our business delivered and completed our works in time for the period of the contract, with the apprentices actively assisting in this process.  From our clients perspective, their own outcomes were also achieved in working with an organisation who was able to deliver real economic and social impact in their own specific areas of operation.

60% of apprentices employed over the past 5 years have been appointed to the delivery of our core business functions and as we are in the enviable position to grow our own talent based on future resource expectations, this has significantly reduced the need for us to operate in a purely reactive environment when it comes to recruiting our people. 

The natural flow of turnover provides us with perfect opportunities for our apprentices to realise their ambitions and for us to reap a return on our investment in their training.  Placing this against the time consuming and costly expense of ‘on-demand’ recruitment achieves value for money in itself.  With the added foresight that apprentices have already become embedded in our culture and values, this places less emphasis on the need to develop behaviours which we expect our colleagues to role model.

We are able to see measurable outcomes in relation to our work towards achievement of our corporate plan objectives, in the fact that 82.14% of both current and previous apprentices still remaining in employment with us live within our local borough of Tameside.  This in itself is a driver to achieving our corporate objectives in supporting people to lead independent lives and affording customers with opportunities to become economically active, through the provision of these employment opportunities.

 BENEFITS TO THE INDIVIDUALS 

 Over 90% of apprentices recruited to our core business since 2001 still remain with us - testament to a strong social value return.  Career  development is key, a celebrated example being Ryan a former apprentice Gas Engineer in 2003 who in 2013 was promoted to a Gas  Supervisor.  Our diversification into New Build Developments as a new work stream to support our growth agenda, allowed all our apprentices  to work on new build properties - skills to face the future with.

 National Apprenticeship Week this year was planned and facilitated by the apprentices themselves, involving visits to schools and colleges to  promote apprenticeships as an option.  They also did volunteer work in the community by way of organised litter picking and bingo sessions at  local sheltered schemes.

 Annual Apprentice of the Year Awards are derived from manager and tutor assessments.   Nominations are measured against performance, v  values and behaviours focussing on health & safety, customer service and commitment towards qualifications.  

 George, 3rd year Painter & Decorator has commented  “In work I’ve had more exposure to intricate wall coverings than in college, meaning that  I’m now ahead of the rest of the class”

Jack, 2nd year Plasterer previous Apprentice of the Year winner quoted  “I like everything about it, I am in a trade I like and New Charter is a large firm, so given the current economy I’m less likely to be made redundant.  My employers are great and there is always extra support if you need it from the managers.  

EXCEPTIONAL DELIVERY

Feedback from our 2013 IIP Review Report validates our successful retention of Gold status with assessors describing us as an exemplar organisation deploying an innovative and flexible approach to people development.  Also placing us in the vanguard of best practice with one example being our apprenticeship and trainee graduate programmes.

Changes over the years have shifted attitudes, broken down barriers and brought us into the 21st Century seeing an increase to the number of females applying for and being employed as a Trades Apprentice.  This journey began following our partnership with ‘Wai Yin Chinese Women’s Society Construction Project’ during 2007, providing a way in to the industry through actual experience and led to 2 of the women gaining employment with us.  This received recognition in the Kier Group & Housemark Embracing Diversity Good Practice Guide.

Working in partnership with other organisations as a contractor, allows us to offer apprenticeships associated with that work on our sites and for people within the local communities to gain a professional and recognised qualification.  Certain contracts have led to increased participation from ethnic minorities and females.

The skills and expertise of our own tradespeople at the Building Company were utilised in support of a clients’ apprenticeship scheme, as Manchester Working a previous customer asked us to assist with a training opportunity for 5 of their Apprentice Joiners.  The apprentices needed to gain some valuable experience from qualified tradespeople and asked us to support them in this venture. Manchester Working apprentices were given a full induction before spending time with our Window & Door fitters in support of their NVQ work and it was a great accolade for our own organisation to support this training partnership. Top of Form

A number of our apprentices have received awards & accolades, examples being from the North West Industry Awards sponsored by the Federation of Master Builders, Construction Apprentice Awards from the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and also from their own training colleges and respective NVQ providers.

Our apprentices are immersed in Education and Skills, Practical Experience and Individual Mentoring which enriches our organisation with a constant flow of talent.  We are also proud that they participate in local careers events and apprentice fairs.