Applying for job after job but never hearing back, new dad Connor Boyle had all but given up hope of ever getting his career back on track. Then a phone call from Salford housing association Salix Homes changed 19-year-old Connor’s fortunes overnight. Connor was chosen from more than 100 other applicants to join the successful Earn as Your Learn Apprenticeship Scheme. And his success is all the more poignant as he had recently welcomed his newborn daughter into the world.
“When I found out I’d got it, I was over the moon,” he said. “I just want the chance to make a future for myself and my daughter.
“I’d applied for so many different jobs and apprenticeships and had never been successful. I’d given up hope, but Salix Homes has been so supportive and all the way through the recruitment process, they made me believe I could do it – and now I know I can.”
He is now well into his plumbing apprenticeship, following in the footsteps of his grandad, and had previously been studying for a plumbing diploma at Salford College. Connor is one of five apprentices who formed Salix Homes’ apprentice cohort for 2018.
Salix Homes is incredibly proud of its apprenticeship programme, and over the last three years has created more than 50 apprenticeship positions both within the organisation and with its partner contractors.
Salix Homes is committed to helping local people build themselves a bright future, people like Ali Nikbakht who is one of their plumbing apprentices. When Ali, aged 26, arrived in the UK from Iran six years ago, he could only speak a few words of English. But thanks to his hard work and determination, he’s now got countless qualifications to his name and is impressing on the job. Ali said: “I could only speak a tiny bit of English when I came here, but I’ve tried really hard to learn the language and the Manchester accent. I have always wanted to be a successful person and I believe that whatever you want to do you can achieve it if you push yourself.
“For me an apprenticeship was the best route because you earn as you’re learning.”
Salix Homes’ apprenticeship programmes are either one or two years and the apprentices are working towards an NVQ in their chosen profession.
Four days a week are spent on-the-job, while one day is spent studying with training partner Total People. Salix Homes’ apprentices also benefit from the support and guidance of skills and work manager Jackie Crook, as well as one-on-one mentoring from their own dedicated mentor.
Graham Yeates, people services training advisor at Salix Homes, explains: “An apprenticeship is a fantastic route for not only the apprentice, but for Salix Homes as an employer too.
“They’re gaining essential skills and experience while getting paid, while for Salix Homes, we are building our workforce of the future.
“Towards the end of the programme, we start working on employability skills like CV building and interview practice, so even if we are unable to employ them directly, we can work with our partners to ensure they continue on their career path and help them find permanent jobs.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about apprenticeship opportunities
Captions: Salix Homes apprentices Ali and Connor.