WDH is marking National Apprenticeship Week by celebrating the achievements of its apprentices, who have had to face the challenge of entering the world of work during a global pandemic.
National Apprenticeship Week’s Build the Future: Train, Retrain and Achieve campaign starts today (Monday 8 February) with a week-long celebration of the benefits of apprenticeships and how employers and apprentices alike have shown resilience during a challenging year.
Following a digitally focused recruitment exercise, eight apprentices were welcomed by WDH in September 2020 into craft positions including gas, electrical, plumbing and tree maintenance as well as office-based positions in its debt and community safety teams.
All eight apprentices have handled working safely under government restrictions or working from home, whilst building the skills they need to progress with their careers.
Chief Executive of WDH, Andy Wallhead said: “We are committed to providing great opportunities for people and National Apprenticeship Week gives us an opportunity to celebrate the success of our apprentices and recognise their contribution to the services that we deliver.
“We know how difficult it has been for everyone to adapt during Covid-19 to a different way of working, so have taken extra care to ensure our apprentices have been supported throughout to make sure they are working safely while gaining valuable real-life skills at the same time. Our apprentices have adapted superbly to the challenges we have all faced this year and continue to progress well with their individual studies
“By providing this positive and supportive environment, we look to ensure that our apprentices have all they need to succeed.”
One of WDH’s apprentices, Chris Hirst, said: “I applied to be an apprentice as I wanted to learn new skills, better myself and get a qualification at the same time. I’ve been paired with an experienced gas engineer so I can learn, before having a go myself. My mentor bas been very supportive and hasn’t put pressure on me to get it right the first time so I can make mistakes and learn from them.”
Discussing the benefits of an apprenticeship, Chris added: “The good thing about an apprenticeship is that you get real-life experience and earn money whilst learning. I attend college one day a week and the rest of my week is spent working in properties, putting what I have learnt into practice.”
WDH’s award-winning apprenticeship programme has been running for almost 14 years with over 150 apprentices recruited during that time. Of these, 95% have secured full-time, permanent employment with the organisation.
Learning and Development Manager at WDH, Kate Radovanovic, concluded: “To build a workforce fit for the future, we want to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve with employment opportunities that offer the opportunity to develop valuable skills and learn. We look forward to being able to open applications for 2021 apprenticeship recruitment in the next few weeks and encourage people from any background to consider applying.”
WDH will be launching its annual apprentice recruitment campaign recruiting for more apprentices in Spring 2021.
For more information on WDH’s apprenticeship scheme, visit www.wdh.co.uk/apprenticeships