Boosting Local Employment – Apprentices and Work Experience
PPM has a passion for local employment and assisting local people into sustainable employment across the North of England.
As a Cumbria based employer, with an ever growing staff base, we wanted to challenge the common perception of Cumbria’s geographic location putting local people at a disadvantage of successfully finding apprentice opportunities. This has been partially achieved by offering our own apprentice opportunities for trade and office based positions, but also making people aware of wider opportunities reinforced by the fact there were unfilled apprentice places in Cumbria over the last 5 years.
To help boost local employment prospects for young people we have successfully delivered a range of apprenticeship advice sessions, since the Summer of 2015, in partnership with CITB and Eden Housing Association. The key objective of this initiative is to proactively engage with local youngsters to help them understand what apprenticeships are and what opportunities exist locally within PPM, Eden HA and the wider construction sector in Cumbria which CITB co-ordinate.
A good example of this scheme was an Advice Session held at Kirkby Stephen School in January 2016 which attracted 23 local attendees (aged 15-16). Kirkby Stephen is a small market town, population of less than 2,000, located in the extreme east of Cumbria (closer to the Yorkshire Dales national park that the Lake District) and is around 25 miles away from the nearest large towns of Penrith and Kendal.
We selected this school to specifically help younger people in one of the more isolated parts of Cumbria to understand the options available to them. The session was a great success with many attendees expressing a real interest to find out more about current and forthcoming opportunities with PPM and Eden Housing Association.
We have a long and proven track-record of working with our clients to deliver employment and training projects. Another excellent example is our partnership with Your Housing Group where we were key partners in their Routes to Work initiative. This included setting up a Pilot Scheme to provide 4 week work experience placements of 15.5 hours week per person.
We also participated in a targeted employment programme at Fostrom’s Estate, Workington which involved North Lakes college; Adult Education for Cumbria County Council; and Cumbria Youth Alliance. Weekly sessions were held on the estate, one of the more deprived areas of Cumbria, to help local people develop skills and improve their employability. We chaired one of the monthly slots and delivered a CV writing, interviewing techniques and business conduct workshop.