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Apprenticeship scheme up for major award

An innovative apprenticeship scheme which has provided work and education opportunities for 14 young people in Shropshire and Staffordshire has been shortlisted for a national award.

The scheme, run by Property Plus, is up for best apprentice scheme at the National Housing Maintenance Forum’s (NHMF) Awards.

They showcase projects and organisations that have excelled in improving the quality and efficiency of the services they provide with the apprenticeship category recognising schemes where there is high staff retention and clear career progression.

Property Plus, part of Housing Plus Group, has apprentices working in electrical, home improvement, facilities management and administration.

The apprenticeship programme has been designed to address the three key challenges common to the construction sector: future skill shortages, an ageing workforce and the goal of business growth.

It has forged strong partnerships with colleges and training providers to deliver a 100% success rate for the retention, qualification and permanent employment of apprentices. The programme also offers development opportunities through the upskilling of existing employees.

Housing Plus Group chief executive Sarah Boden said: “As a social landlord, we set out to engage, develop and provide job opportunities for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged groups.

“By working in close partnership with local colleges and other training providers, we have been able to successfully recruit apprentices so that they now make up 12 percent of the Property Plus workforce.

“We are delighted with the progress we’ve made and for this excellence to be recognised by being shortlisted for this award.”

Property Plus, which also won the repairs and maintenance prize at the 2017 Housing Excellence Awards, will discover if it has been successful again during the NHMF event on 23 January 2018.