Catalyst Housing leading the way in apprenticeships

Sharif Said, aftercare co-ordinator at Catalyst Housing has won Network Supervisor of the Year award at the Ealing Apprenticeship Awards.

With youth unemployment remaining worryingly high, Catalyst is committed to helping young people get the skills and training needed to compete in the job market. Working with and helping local people is at the heart of our work at Catalyst. Our robust apprenticeship programme underlines this commitment by increasing employment opportunities both within Catalyst and those we work in partnership with.

Since 2013 Catalyst has recruited over 20 apprentices in house as well as creating 16 construction apprentices on our major regeneration schemes.  Research by the Skills Funding Agency showed a 40 per cent drop in Londoners taking part in construction apprenticeships between 2008 and 2013. We will be working even closer with our contractors to create more apprenticeship opportunities for local people on our developments.

Sharif has successfully supported two cohorts of aftercare team apprentices through their housing apprenticeships with Catalyst and into full time employment. Sharif has built a well established team around his apprentices and has had an excellent success rate with all of them going on to career building destinations.  The majority of his apprentices have gone on to gain full time employment within Catalyst  with those remaining  apprentices gaining permanent employment in other local housing organisations including Kensington and Chelsea TMO.

We offer a range of opportunities, in 2013/14 we not only recruited for established roles such as business administration, customer service and youth work, we also created a brand new estate services team.

Catalyst is committed to retaining at least 50% of our apprentices as well as offering a wide range of support to help those that have completed an apprenticeship find work in other organisations. Daniel Briggs recently secured a full time position at Catalyst after completing an apprenticeship in our after-care team.

‘I was working in retail and it wasn’t right for me. I wasn’t really interested in going to uni and getting into all that debt so I knew an apprenticeship would be great. I’ve learned so much in the last year about the industry. When I started this apprenticeship I wanted to become full time at Catalyst, now that’s happened I’m excited about what I will learn in my new role.

I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship with Catalyst, it’s on the job training and gaining a very good recognised qualification at the same time.”

Sharif Said, aftercare coordinator:

‘Apprenticeships are key to how Catalyst works. By recruiting fresh talent we not only give young people invaluable experience but Catalyst also gains a wealth of knowledge and discovers new ways of working.

I’ve been supervising apprentices since this project began and it’s been incredibly rewarding to see those I’ve worked with go on and achieve the success they have.’