Chris Adams, our Employment, Support and Training Manager talks about how apprenticeships can be for anyone, at any age, to support National Apprenticeship Week…
With National Apprenticeship Week taking place this week, I think it’s really important to challenge the preconception that apprenticeships are just for younger people.
An apprenticeship is open to people at any age and from any background and, most importantly, they provide an opportunity for people who might not normally get one.
Supporting people into work
In the 17 years that I’ve worked with Radian, our Employment, Skills and Training function (which includes apprenticeships) has certainly come a long way.
We originally started by growing a youth and community centre under the charitable arm of Radian. This evolved into a much bigger catering project (we started off as a café, before growing into a catering company) that was aimed at training young people through catering.
We would have young people with us for as little as one day placements through to six month programmes. The project received Lottery funding for the first six years, but it grew to such an extent that it was catering for anything up to 500 events a year, training between 30 and 50 people every year.
Creating new opportunities
After the success of this project, we developed an employment support and training project that we launched in 2012. The idea behind it was to get 60 people into work and 1000 into training over a three year trial period.
We ended up supporting 331 people into work and 1173 into training. To date these numbers have grown to over 600 and 1750 respectively.
As part of this project we delivered a work and training programme for 18-24 year olds in partnership with People Plus (A4e at the time) and the Wheatsheaf Trust, providing six month paid placements within Radian’s offices. Within a two year period we had offered 40 placements and 34 of these young people sustained employment. This success rate was more than double the average of similar programmes and we were invited to the House of Commons to celebrate. The success of this programme led to the development of the Radian Apprenticeships Scheme due to launch in 2018.
We’ve got lots to offer
We have a great breadth of opportunities within our organisation, including customer services, business admin, catering, construction, painting and decorating and gas and electrical engineering. We have a social commitment to our communities and we want to see our apprentices flourish, so if you’re looking for your first job, or you’re thinking of trying your hand at something new, we would love to hear from you.