The only official magazine of The Cleaning Show

Apprenticeship success

Published 3rd June, 2013 by Neil Nixon

Apprenticeship success

An award-winning young apprentice from Stanford le Hope is the latest success to come from an employment partnership based in Thurrock. Having struggled to find permanent employment for more than a year, Lewis English was supported into work with cleaning and environmental specialist Nordic Pioneer by local Work Programme provider Ingeus. He has subsequently been crowned Nordic Pioneer Apprentice of the Year, has been nominated for a regional business award, and his success is now paving the way for further unemployed Ingeus clients to be recruited nationally by Nordic Pioneer.

The partnership between Ingeus and Nordic Pioneer has also given four other long-term unemployed young people apprenticeships in Thurrock, with a further 12 recruited for Nordic Pioneer contracts in London. And with several further recruitment drives planned, it is a winning combination according to lead apprentice programmes manager at Nordic Pioneer, Joe Tavernier. “Ingeus consistently provides quality candidates, who are well briefed and truly want an opportunity to prove themselves,” he said. “Ingeus helped us in not only finding good people, but also setting up initial assessments and providing their offices for our interviews. The service was free and saved us a great deal of time and expense. We deliver apprenticeship programmes to young people across the entire UK and we're already seeing the partnership with Ingeus spread to other areas. Lewis is a great ambassador for our apprentices and an example of how successful young workers can be when given the right opportunities and support. Yet without Ingeus he may well have still been unemployed.”

As a young jobseeker on the Work Programme, Lewis was recruited with support of the Youth Contract Wage Incentive, an initiative that provides employers with a wage subsidy of up to £2275 for employing long-term unemployed 18 to 24 year-old Work Programme participants.

Lewis English, 21, is employed on a nationally-recognised cleaning and support services apprenticeship, working on placement with Thurrock Council. In addition to being selected from 300 Nordic Pioneer apprentices to win the Apprentice of the Year title, he has also been recognised with a nomination at the finals of the Essex Business Awards.

His wide-ranging placements with Thurrock Council now comprise street cleaning and the grounds maintenance of parks, cemeteries and sports areas. His professionalism and initiative have also led to him being involved in time-critical, essential services like gritting operations, for which he has been highly commended by his colleagues. He said: “I was overwhelmed to be nominated for two apprentice awards but it is nice to be recognised for doing a good job, especially having had such a struggle to find work previously. Ingeus helped build up my confidence and put me forward for the Nordic Pioneer vacancy, then supported me throughout my training. I really enjoy working outdoors and being part of a team, and hope to ultimately work on some of the horticultural duties I'm covering with the council.”