Our commitment to providing opportunities for local people saw us recruit seven new apprentices in 2016 and they're already proving to be invaluable members of the organisation. To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we caught up with them to find out more about why they wanted to join the One Manchester apprenticeship scheme and what they hope to achieve in the future.
After Kai left school, he wasn't really doing much until the apprentice opportunity came along. Now 17-years-old, the future is looking bright as he aims to pass his college course and practical exams, and become a fully qualified plasterer with One Manchester.
"Everyone's really welcoming, I'm enjoying it. The best thing about it is learning a skill that's actually a challenge to pick up. I'm learning loads from the plasterers but also from the others working in the houses. I'm picking up loads of skills."
Apprentice Gas Engineer
Before his apprenticeship Keith was working in a hotel but couldn’t see a future for himself in this career. His girlfriend then spotted the apprenticeship opportunities online and he thought perhaps it was the chance to change roles he'd been waiting for. He hasn’t looked backed since.
“I was doing mad hours in the hotel and wasn’t enjoying it. I’m learning more working here than I do in college. I enjoy being out in the field with the guys more than I do in college. Being hands-on really suits me. By the end of this I’ll be a good engineer so I’ll definitely want a job here."
Matt struggled to find regular hours with his old career working on a railway. The unpredictable working hours weren’t working for him and he didn’t enjoy working so far away from his home here in Manchester. Through the apprenticeship programme he now works four days a week learning his trade, and spends one day a week at college.
“Now I’m working in my own community and loving it. I prefer working hands-on rather than being stuck in an office or a classroom. This suits me much better than what I was doing before. I'd definitely say that the apprenticeship is the best decision I’ve made."
Darnell is the youngest of the apprentices, having come to the programme straight from school. He grew up in a One Manchester property in Gorton and tells us that it was his experiences with One Manchester staff that helped him make up his mind about the apprenticeship.
“I live in a One Manchester property and so I’ve seen the gas team come round to my house before. They are always so friendly and helpful that I thought it’d be great to work for them. I see people at work now that I’ve lived with for years, and to be able to go around to their house and help them out makes me feel really good.”
Scott had worked with Eastlands previously before his apprenticeship with the estate action team. He completed an apprenticeship in joinery before deciding that his future was in plumbing.
“I’ve always just wanted to get back on the tools really. I was a joiner before but plumbing really suits my skills more. I was away from hands-on work for five years and so I really enjoy being back on the tools."
Jack came to the apprenticeship after finishing college, explaining that he saw the value in working that an apprenticeship provides and believes that more people should take this path.
“I took the employment route with the apprenticeship where a lot of my friends took the university route. I don’t really learn things very well in a classroom though, so this lets me practice and hone my skills. I think if more people knew about it then they’d do the same."
Apprentice Building Surveyor
Richard has had a varied career working as a joiner with a construction company, a chef in kitchens, and spending the past two years in Australia. Arriving back in Manchester he chose to explore a different career path.
“I began looking for building surveying roles and found that they are difficult to find. These opportunities are not that common, not all companies are capable of offering this, so it’s worked out perfectly for me.
“Building surveying is really varied role. I like the variety and the whole experience is a constant learning curve. I’d ruled out the option of going to university. I didn’t really want to be full-time in education and at the time I didn’t realise an apprenticeship was an option."
If you're interested in future apprenticeship opportunities with One Manchester or our partners please email firstname.lastname@example.org.