It’s often said that people are the greatest asset in any organisation. Apprenticeships can be a great way to develop new talent and make sure that your business has all the people and skills it needs. In order to take full advantage however, the apprenticeship training programme has to be properly developed and implemented. This is why whg chose to partner with PM Training to set up its own highly successful apprenticeship programme.

whg is one of the Midlands' leading and most successful providers of high-quality homes. Having formed in 2003, the group now owns and manages around 21,000 properties located throughout the region. They aim to provide affordable, good quality homes and community-based services to the Midlands and in order to do so, it’s crucial that they have the right people in place. Apprenticeships are a key part of the workforce development that enables whg to pursue this vision and PM Training has played its own key role in helping to deliver the ongoing programme.

whg currently has 28 apprentices, having started its journey with PM Training in 2017. The group’s business plan commits to bringing through 25 apprentices a year.

Elaine Woodman, Learning and Development Manager at whg, said: “Working with PM Training has been a really positive experience. We created a schedule of training as a development programme to run the apprenticeship pathway. Apprenticeships are great for anybody and provide a good learning experience. We chose PM Training because of the learner centric focus, support and progression.”

“Working with PM Training has been a really positive experience. We chose PM Training because of the learner centric focus, support and progression.”

Stephen Rushton, Partnerships Director at PM Training added: “Working with whg on their apprenticeship programme has been very rewarding. We’ve seen the company grow and develop and have supported them to shape their training plan to nurture future talent.”

Elaine explained that whg prefers to use a three month settling-in period that allows the apprentices to get to know the business and learn the organisation’s ways of working and values.

“This has been a fundamental success factor,” she said. “When we recruited we wanted to raise the bar and worked with PM Training to seek high quality apprenticeship frameworks and standards to attract a high calibre of learner.”

She added: “We were attracted by the wide portfolio of apprenticeships offered by PM Training. It made more business sense to have one person as a contract manager and this works really well. We set out our expectations clearly from the start and any issues are resolved in real-time.”

Elaine added that the apprenticeships were Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications and also included a Level 6 higher degree apprenticeship. She said that the apprenticeship levy was easy to implement and the digital portal used for the programme “makes it easy to keep track of our levy spending and training”.

whg encourages current and former apprentices to share their own stories and experiences and to take part in recruitment events.

Lisa Care is now a member of whg’s Executive Support Team, having come through the apprenticeship programme.

She said: “I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship. They are not just for school leavers. I thought it was something you did as your first job – but anyone can do it at any time in their career to explore new avenues. The apprenticeship provided me with a pathway to something I never would have fallen into.”

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