Driving our development and achieving our ambitions – apprenticeships make perfect business sense.

This week it’s National Apprenticeship Week - a week-long celebration of apprenticeships across England and a time to recognise apprenticeship success stories across the country. This gives us the perfect opportunity to share details of our successful apprenticeship programme and highlight the huge value our apprentices add to our organisation, our communities and our city.

One Manchester values apprenticeships

We are an experienced and trusted organisation and our overall objective is to create opportunities, transform communities and change lives.

Employing apprentices supports these objectives, allowing us to fill current and predicted skills shortages and develop our own talent, often with people from our communities. We are committed to offering high-quality and professional development qualification opportunities for people of all ages to improve their skills, capabilities and aspirations.

Apprentices have the benefit of earning and learning at the same time. As contracted employees, they contribute to their team’s objectives and enjoy all the benefits of working for an organisation. At the same time, they are working towards a funded and recognised qualification.

Partnering with training providers to achieve joint ambitions

Over the last few years, our highly successful apprenticeship programme has partnered with training providers to offer a wide range of both trade (roofing, plumbing, grounds maintenance, plastering, joinery, electrical and gas) and professional (business administration customer services, finance, IT, housing) qualification and career opportunities to 14 contracted apprentices and 20 permanent employees.

The qualifications, which last between two and four years, are designed to ensure that both technical knowledge and practical skills are developed and measured. To achieve the technical knowledge requirements of the qualification, the apprentice attends college (either on a day-release or block-time arrangement) and is assessed by tests and assignments. The apprentice’s work experience contributes to the practical component of the qualification. It often presents an amazing opportunity for the apprentice to work on important business projects; gaining valuable skills and experience along the way.

The Apprentice House

One of the highlights for our trade apprentices was when they were given the opportunity to renovate and repair one of our houses. They were supported by people guiding and helping them along the way, but at the end of the day, the apprentices did all the work and gained invaluable experience in the process. The apprentices gathered and submitted evidence of the work they were involved with and this contributed to the requirements of their qualification.

A jam-packed, comprehensive induction week

Our apprenticeship intake typically takes place in early September in line with the start of the college’s academic year.  The jam-packed induction week starts with a warm welcome from our Chief Executive and our Directors, who make the time to meet the new recruits and tell them all about One Manchester; our strategies, mission, values and the work we do in the communities. They also meet with key business areas, their managers and college representatives before spending time learning key lessons for the world of work, such as meeting skills, presentations and customer service expectations. We also invite our current apprentices to come and meet the new recruits to welcome them to the team, share their own experiences and answer any questions.

Supporting our apprentices every step of the way

We support our apprentices throughout their entire learning journey. Every six to eight weeks, the tutor, the reporting manager and the Learning and Development Business Partner meet with the apprentice to evaluate progress, discuss experiences, agree targets for the next period, address concerns and provide any support the apprentice needs to meet the requirements of their qualification. We also ensure our apprentices are included in all other learning and development across the business that are relevant to their role.

The Apprentice Learner Survey, administered by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills found that as many as 85% of apprentices will stay in employment after completing their apprenticeship, with two-thirds (64%) remaining with the same employer.

We have employed most of the people that have done their apprenticeship with us. . Although we cannot always guarantee a permanent role at the end of an apprenticeship, we are delighted to have been able to offer permanent employment contracts to former apprentices who are now working in plumbing, grounds maintenance, roofing, IT and plastering roles. Permanent employment contracts are often dependent on whether there is an opportunity available in the organisation, the successful completion of the qualification by the apprentice and the outcome of the assessment and selection process.

Making a difference to our business, our communities and our city

We have an apprenticeship programme we can be proud of, with apprentices who work hard, are energetic, positive and make a significant contribution to our organisation. To find out more about apprenticeships and whether it would be right for you, visit the apprenticeship website here.