As part of our support for National Apprenticeship Week we caught up with our Apprentice Review Officer, Claire Wilby to find out a bit more about the role of apprentices and what the future looks like.
What impact has Covid-19 had on your role and apprenticeships at WDH?
“I have been working from home since March 2020 supporting our apprentices who joined us back in 2019. This has been a big change as I would usually be out and about, visiting my team of craft apprentices at the properties they are working in.
“During the first lockdown, our apprentices continued their studies remotely, working on their portfolios, attending online sessions with college and submitting assignments. Our apprentices adapted brilliantly to this new way of working and have showed great determination through challenging times.
“We identified very quickly that we needed to improve communication with our apprentices to enable remote learning therefore we gave all craft apprentices a mobile phone to ensure that they could access MS Teams and receive important briefings more easily.”
How does working with our apprentices make you feel?
“It’s a privilege to be involved in supporting and shaping the careers of our apprentices. Knowing that WDH recognises and values the contribution they make to our business is brilliant. The success of our apprenticeship scheme is a team effort and works because we have such competent mentors that are willing to share their experience and skills. Alongside the mentors our team leaders and managers guide our apprentices throughout their learning journey to ensure that every apprentice is confident and competent when they qualify.”
What apprenticeship achievements have been made during the Covid-19 pandemic?
“We have had four office-based apprentices complete their qualification and transition into permanent roles within the business. We also had four craft apprentices transition into permanent roles within their specialist craft, such as joinery and electrical. This is an amazing achievement and truly reflects their personal resilience as the road to success has not been smooth but with support across the business and from the learning providers, we have been able to achieve positive outcomes.”
What does 2021 look like for apprentices?
“The future is very bright, promising and optimistic for new apprenticeships joining WDH. We will be launching our 2021 craft apprenticeship vacancies in Spring 2021 with an aim of new recruits joining us late Summer this year.
“We apprenticeship recruitment process will once again be delivered digitally so we are geared up and ready to welcome a new group of apprentices into WDH in 2021.”
For more information on WDH’s apprenticeship scheme, visit wdh.co.uk/apprenticeship