WDH – It’s in our DNA

Published 15 March 2016

Over the past few months WDH employees have been having their say on what it is that makes us who we are.  We call it our DNA.

For those hoping to join us as part of our 2016 apprenticeship intake the task is straightforward - show us the behaviours we expect from all our employees: determination, nous and attitude.

Such is the importance we place on getting our recruitment right, last year about 50% of our vacancies were filled by internal candidates, and over a third resulted in the promotion of an employee.  A fantastic achievement, and one we’re trying to build upon.

To help us keep hold of all our talent, just last year we launched a scheme to enable us to identify, develop and challenge employees who we think have high potential - something only 21% of businesses choose to do. Through a combination of tailored training, work and networking opportunities, we hope to encourage even more employees to follow in the footsteps of people like Tom Storey, a former apprentice plumber who very quickly progressed into a managerial role.

Among the routes into employment we offer, our award-winning apprenticeship scheme is one of our most successful.  Mixing the practical experience of building properties alongside repairs and maintenance work in our tenants’ homes, our trade apprentices graduate as some of the most highly skilled construction workers in West Yorkshire.

All our recruits are taught exactly what it takes to consistently deliver an outstanding service, and apprentices flourish because they develop skills outside of their chosen specialism.  This helps them become more proficient, and our tenants benefit as a result because fewer call outs are needed to complete work.  Having a multi‑skilled workforce also means we’re able to offer a value for money repairs and maintenance service to other housing associations right across Yorkshire.  Everyone wins!

With an apprenticeship levy in the pipeline and the government determined to create three million apprenticeships by 2020, it’s clear we must continue to invest in both our entry-level recruitment activity and developing existing employees.

Looking to the future our new training facility will enable us to reach out to students before they consider their options in Year 8 and 9, and this should result in us seeing the strongest and most-informed candidates applying for our roles.

Last year I was astounded to see more than 600 people turn up to our first ever apprenticeship open evening, and tonight we are once again looking forward to another informative and busy night. For those with the WDH DNA it’s the perfect opportunity to find out what we have in store for them. 

Potential applicants can drop in to our headquarters at Merefield House (WF10 5HX) this evening between 5.30 pm and 7 pm.  Family and friends are welcome to attend. 

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