Supported Apprenticeship Scheme puts young people on path to success

At ForHousing we believe in making more things possible for more people, because we want to improve people’s lives.

This National Apprenticeship Week, we are celebrating helping young people build a brighter future through the Supported Apprenticeship Scheme in partnership with property-services business Liberty.

Our Skills Centre in Salford provides construction training and the chance to gain qualifications for school pupils facing challenges or who have been excluded.

The Supported Apprenticeship Scheme is currently offering vital support to nine young people coming through the Skills Centre to overcome barriers they may be facing to succeeding in an apprenticeship with Liberty.

There are many reasons why young people do not always complete their apprenticeships, such as educational needs that might not have been properly addressed throughout their school years, or difficult experiences they have had in their childhood that have impacted their behaviour.

So, to help ensure young people moving into apprenticeships stay on track, we have worked in partnership with Liberty and Salford City Council to provide additional support through a Supported Apprenticeship.

By working together to understand where each young person is coming from, their background and their perspective, we are in a unique position to provide them with a safe environment to grow and develop in a way that all young people should have access to.

Through partnership working with the council, £45,000 was secured from Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Removing Barriers to Apprenticeship fund, which enabled support to be put in place at every stage, from going through paperwork with young people before they start their apprenticeship, to continuous support while they are on the job.

Support includes weekly catch-up calls from Rachel Roberts, Programme Coordinator with the apprentice, their manager and regular contact with the college to identify any potential issues early on before they escalate.

Before lockdown apprentices were always met face to face and introduced to their manager before they started their role. Zoom and Microsoft Teams has been used instead to maintain that contact and build that rapport.

Many young apprentices won’t be used to a structured routine so introducing young people gradually to a full-time working week instead has really helped them settle in. New apprentices are offered the option to start part-time until they adjust so they can build up to full-time hours and not get overwhelmed.

We want to give every young person the best chance of success and the opportunities they deserve. We believe this extra support through the Supported Apprenticeship initiative can make all the difference.

One young person that came through the scheme had not been in formal education since Year 7. He was a carer, had experienced trauma and had high anxiety about meeting new people and mistrusted people in authority. The Supported Apprenticeship scheme has given him a new start in life that might not otherwise have been open to him.

Before we set up this project with our partners, we saw a number of apprentices quit. But with the extra support we can now offer, things have changed for the better and more and more young people are thriving in their new roles at Liberty.

We are looking forward to continuing to work with Liberty, Salford City Council, Salford City College and Bolton College to support many more apprentices to pave their own way to a successful and rewarding career.