From education to employment

Innovative collaboration sees six apprentices enter the sector amidst industry skills shortage

HELPING to support the housing sector skills gap, six electrical apprentices have secured positions thanks to award-winning, flexi job apprenticeship agency EN:Able Futures CIC.

Following challenging industry circumstances including business failure and redundancies, several electrical apprentices were displaced and without a business to complete their qualifications.

Simultaneously, the five-yearly Electrical Installation Condition Reports for properties requires a range of changes to be rolled out and standards to be updated efficiently. Seeing the potential to tackle both issues head on and encourage new people to the sector, housing organisation Berneslai Homes partnered with EN:Able Futures. Having not initially set out to hire apprentices, a lack of skilled workers applying saw Berneslai Homes change tactic and work with Efficiency North to offer positions to six apprentices and then upskill them to support the sector’s changing legislation.

Julie Deeley, director of operations at EN:Able Futures, said:

“Placing apprentices where it is of mutual benefit to the apprentice and the organisation is pivotal to our role as apprenticeship facilitators. We supported Berneslai Homes by conducting interviews and presenting potential candidates, and we will now continue to guide all six of the successful apprentices throughout their qualification.

“Berneslai Homes’ commitment to apprenticeships also contributes to addressing the wider skills shortage in the social housing sector. By providing opportunities for apprentices to gain valuable experience and qualifications, Berneslai Homes sets a positive example for other housing providers and encourages the development of a capable workforce that can meet the demands of an evolving industry.”

EN:Able Futures operates across the north of England and offers a flexible service, allowing property and construction employers to hire apprentices for either the full training or just part of it. EN:Able Futures take on all HR and pastoral responsibilities, which is why Berneslai Homes approached the team for its guidance. Should businesses go into administration or redundancies be required, this does not impact the apprentice and allows them to continue their studies.

Callum Whitehouse, specialist services function manager of construction services at Berneslai Homes, said:

“The shortage of skilled professionals in the social housing sector, particularly electricians with the required qualifications, has become a significant challenge. However, we have embraced a long-term approach to apprenticeships to meet future regulatory requirements.

“The apprentices we hired have fitted in really quickly and have already proven to be valuable members of the team and we’re looking forward to seeing them progress with the guidance of the EN:Able Futures team.”

Berneslai Homes has been shortlisted for an Affordable Housing Award for its recruitment campaign supporting the six displaced apprentices. The winner will be announced at a ceremony on Friday 17 November.

To find out more information about EN:Able Futures visit here.

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