Investment in apprentices at former pit towns

9:20am Monday 30th April 2012 in News

Front to back, Danielle Tatlock, Jenna Heesom, Derek Long, Liz Haworth, Gary Ellis and Vin McCabe.Front to back, Danielle Tatlock, Jenna Heesom, Derek Long, Liz Haworth, Gary Ellis and Vin McCabe.

A RICH seam of new talent is being mined in St Helens under an initiative to get young people from former pit communities across the country into work.

The project has created 45 apprenticeships in former mining villages and towns across the UK, as housing associations, the National Housing Federation and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust link up to help young people.

Two of the first batch are from St Helens.

Danielle Tatlock and Jenna Heesom, aged 19, were recruited as apprentices for housing association Helena Partnerships.

They launched the initiative on the new Saints Bridge at Langtree Park on Friday.

They were joined by Derek Long, head of the North for the National Housing Federation, Liz Haworth, executive director of Business Transformation at Helena, and Coalfields Regeneration Trust chief executive officer Gary Ellis and deputy chief executive officer Vin McCabe .

The trust has agreed to fund half of the wages for each of the 45 apprentices who gain employment with a housing association.

In return, each housing association has agreed that each trainee will receive a first-class apprenticeship opportunity, gaining at least a year-long contract of work and a pledge they will finish their traineeship with at least an NVQ level two qualification. The scheme has mainly targeted young people aged 16 to 25, including teenagers previously not in employment, education or training.

The scheme has focused on former pit villages and towns like St Helens in the north west, Yorkshire, the north east and the Midlands.

Derek Long said: “Housing associations provide great training and employment opportunities for young people as they are embedded in local communities.

“We are delighted to be working with the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and housing associations such as Helena to provide top-class apprenticeships across the country, including in St Helens.”

Danielle Tatlock lives close to St Helens town centre. She is an apprentice with Helena’s performance and intelligence team following an apprenticeship with St Helens Council.

She said: “Doing multiple apprenticeships has allowed me to experience different departments and meet new people, which suits me because I’m a hands-on person who prefers getting stuck into challenges rather than learning in a classroom.

“I’m very ambitious, and I hope my apprenticeships will improve my job prospects by making me stand out from the crowd.”

Jenna Heesom from Sutton is an apprentice organisational development and legal assistant at Helena.

She said: “I already feel like part of the team and am enjoying learning about HR. I’d like to work towards my NVQ level four in business administration.”

Paul Champion
Strategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

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