At Mears, we see apprenticeships as a vital part of our approach to recruiting, developing and retaining talent and providing school leavers and older employees the opportunity to earn while they learn.
Apprenticeships are an underpinning part of Mears’ philosophy. By offering local people a first step on the career ladder, we demonstrate our commitment to improving neighbourhoods, creating opportunities for local people and developing the next generation of our workforce to the very highest standards.
In recent years apprenticeships have extended beyond the traditional trades, and into areas such as health &social care, customer service, business administration and leadership and management.
An apprenticeship can offer the chance to gain valuable skills within an area you are interested in while earning a wage and be the first step into a fulfilling career.
Going the extra mile with Kickstart
Mears has recognised that the Kickstart programme is an excellent programme for reaching people who would potentially previously be unreachable. We currently have a contract for 85 Kickstarter placements and are working closely with the local job centres to identify potential candidates for work experience who can hopefully move on to our apprenticeship programme.
The Mears Learning team has been supporting Kickstarters to complete a qualification towards their six months’ work experience programme. The team looked at other large national companies involved with the programme and decided to go one step further and deliver a qualification to participants to improve their chances of future employment.
What is the Kickstart Programme?
Kickstart is part of a work experience programme supported by the Department for Work and Pensions.During their six months, a young person, between 16 to 24 years old and “long term” Universal Credit claimants, will be working for a company like Mears, in a fully-funded placement.
The Kickstarter will gain work experience and learn new skills for use in their future career, improving their CV and helping them to compete in the job market. At the same time, Mears will benefit and grow by taking on young people who are full of energy, new ideas and digital know-how.
Peter Tingle is a Kickstarter that has just been offered an Apprenticeship with Mears Rotherham Branch. Peter commented:
I have really learned a lot onKickstart. I have had some bad jobs in the past before this apprenticeship offer from Mears, and I also struggled with unemployment, but if I had to do that again to get where I am now, I would do it
Colette Hardwick-Darwin, Business Support Manager along with Andrew Fawley, Peter's line manager both headed the team that supported Peter. They were extremely focused on giving him the best opportunity to succeed. They embraced theKickstart Scheme for its full worth to help unemployed 16–24-year-olds to possibly gain full time employment, which paid off for Peter achieving an apprenticeship.
I had a good chat with Pete,I'm sure he will do well on his apprenticeship, I'm excited for him, he's talked me through his journey from school and really turned himself around. He has earned this chance through hard work and commitment.
Bryan Dempsey, Training Manager/Lead IQAhas been involved in this programme and commented:
The Kickstart Programme is aground-breaking Government initiative from the Department for Work &Pensions to get unemployed 16–24-year-olds engaging with established businesses. Mears has played a large part in the scheme & supportedKickstarters across the whole country, offering them a wide range of work experience.
Mears Learning regularly reviews progress with the Kickstarters throughout qualification delivery, and the feedback received about the support they’ve received has been entirely positive.