12 July 2019
A provider of apprenticeships and work-based training has created nearly 80 new apprentice starts since the launch of an employment campaign last year.
The Ladder for Greater Birmingham initiative was started in 2018 with the aim of creating 1,000 new apprenticeships in Birmingham and Solihull.
Aston-based JTL is behind 79 new starts through the Ladder campaign - with plans to take on new recruits in September.
JTL is also one of the region's leaders in the provision of opportunities under the Government's 'Traineeship' programme.
It aims to increase the employability skills of young people leaving school or classed as NEETs - not in employment, education or training.
Under the campaign, 16 to 18 year olds complete a programme combining work preparation and training alongside real-life work experience with an employer
JTL screens and prepares learners before they are sent out on work experience and it is hoped traineeships will then lead to apprenticeships or job opportunities.
The training firm, whose city base is in Aston, has been a big supporter of the Ladder for Greater Birmingham campaign since its launch last summer.
The initiative is run by community development group The Vine Trust and training provider Performance Through People with funding from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP and Birmingham and Solihull Training Provider Network, with BirminghamLive as media partner.
JTL placed Birmingham-based trainees Hamza Hussain and William Stewart with construction group Wates on a four-week placement.
The programme covers modules such as health and safety and employability skills including interview techniques, communications and CV writing.
The pair also spent time on taster days alongside various teams around the business to learn more about the type of work Wates does and the skills it needs.
Hamza focused on plumbing and heating, working with a team on void residential properties, while William spent time with electrical, plumbing and carpentry teams before deciding the latter was his preferred route.
Ronda D'Aguilar, Wates' customer and community manager, said: "The supervisors in the teams they have been working with were very impressed with their commitment to the experience.
"They found the trainees to be highly motivated and very eager to learn. It has been the first time we have worked with JTL on the Traineeship programme.
"You don't know how these things will pan out but it has been such a positive experience for us as a business that we would like to continue this on a regular basis.
"It's a great way to see how a potential apprentice might get along - almost like an extended interview process - and our experience with Hamza and William has been hugely positive."
Following their placements, Hamza and William were offered the chance to apply for an apprenticeship with Wates to start in September.
Performance manager Dave Singh added: "For us, this is almost a 'try before you buy' scenario.
"We may get 20 to 30 people come in to interview for apprentice positions and it's never easy to gauge how committed somebody will be to the job once they are given a place on an apprenticeship just through an interview process.
"With the traineeships, we are able to see how the candidate fits within the company in real time and establish how they get on with other team members over a period, gauging their enthusiasm for the job role we are looking to place them in."
To find out more about the Ladder initiative http://ladderforbirmingham.co.uk/
Pictured: Wates performance manager Dave Singh (centre) with JTL trainees Hamza Hussain and William Stewart