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Working with clients to offer apprenticeships to local communities

Kier Group plc is a leading property, residential, construction and services group which invests in, builds, maintains and renews the places where we work, live and play

What we did.

As part of our collaborative relationship with our clients we work closely with the client’s Employment and Skills teams to provide employment opportunities for individuals within the communities in which we work.

One particular instance is the work we have done with Genesis Housing Association to promote and provide apprenticeships to their residents. Together we have been able to offer full time employment within a business environment for both young people and those returning to work from social housing communities. This includes valuable work experience, a competitive wage and development towards a nationally recognised apprenticeship.

What we learned.

After creating a proposal and gaining buy-in from the two management teams, a working group was set up to identify the right roles and work out the logistics of the apprenticeship based on there being two kay stakeholders involved in the employment of the apprentices. We agreed that Kier would be the employer of the apprentices, but they would be seconded in to Genesis, working with their teams.

In order to bring the management teams up to speed with the Kier processes for supporting apprentices, an engagement day was set up and led by Katie Nightingale, Early Careers Manager with support from the HR team. This session gave our client’s apprentice line managers the chance to understand more about the collaborative approach and Kier ways of working to support our apprentices.

The agreed apprenticeship roles were promoted both on the Kier website and via the Genesis resident’s communication channels with a big push from the client Employment and Skills team to support their residents into these roles who were based in the local community.

Following successful interviews the apprentices were inducted by both employers and the training provider on site. They were also invited to attend the Kier corporate apprentice event to meet other apprentices from across the group and learn more about Kier values, encourage team working and explore the opportunities within the wider group to support their career progression.

What we would do differently as a result.

There is certainly even more promotion that we can do together to increase the awareness of the opportunities within apprenticeships and in particular those STEM related roles to support women and other underrepresented groups into our industry. We recently made a commitment to increasing diversity within apprenticeships by joining the Diversity Champions Network, which is a government led initiative.

We have opened up additional avenues for apprenticeship opportunities by collaborating with our clients and our supply chain partners to support people into work and there is even more opportunity to do further promotion in local schools and community centres together to inform individuals of the possible career opportunities within Construction.

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