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Building a supportive environment with a dedicated Training Manager

Based in West Yorkshire, InCommunities is one of the biggest social housing providers in the UK, managing over 20,000 rented homes. With a dedicated, diverse workforce of over 1250 staff, the company employs apprentices in a variety of roles.

What we did.

InCommunities set up a dedicated Training Manager programme, with a single person responsible for outreach, recruitment and support of apprentices within the business - with a particular focus on growing the number of women and girls coming into the company through apprenticeships.

The Training Manager programme has established dedicated pathways of support for women and girls within the business including dedicated 1-2-1 time and pastoral care. Women and girls are encouraged and their skills nurtured while inappropriate behaviour from male colleagues or in College is tackled immediately. The streamlined approach has had enormous success.

What we learned.

Since putting the system in place with a dedicated Training Manager, the number of women and girls in apprenticeships within InCommunities has grown by 276%. Female apprentices have been recognised for the high quality of their work and have received a number of awards including: Apprentice of the Year (twice); Joiner of the Year (twice); New Apprentice of the Year; Peer of the Year; Gas Plumber of the Year.

Apprentices at InCommunities credit the Training Manager programme with their success. Lisa Kaye, a qualified site joiner who joined the company through an apprenticeship, said: "I was in a ‘bad place’ when I first met Tony the Training Manager at InCommunities and spoke to him about an apprenticeship. I had some difficult times but I decided to make a new life for myself.

“When I applied for an apprenticeship, I explained my background and InCommunities gave me a chance – taking me on as an apprentice joiner. The support system is fantastic; my Training Manager was always the first point of call. He would meet with me regularly and ensure that my work was going well. He was always positive and helped me through the process.

“Throughout my apprenticeship he was always on hand to help me with any problems, at one point in my college work I was having issues with a supply tutor. My Training Manager was sympathetic and went on to speak with college and sorted out the problem that I was experiencing.

“He always thinks of others first and never acts out of self-gain, he has helped me and countless others to gain qualifications and further our careers.

“With Tony’s help I became a person again and now have a home, a career, and a family that are proud of me."

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