Catalyst has been recognised as Employer of the Year at the YMCA annual National Apprenticeship Awards, which was hosted at the House of Commons this year.
The awards celebrate the YMCA’s partners and learners who take part in apprenticeships from level 2 right up to degree level.
Our partnership with the YMCA began in 2017 when we partnered with them to deliver their horticulture apprenticeship to Catalyst’s estate services team, a great opportunity to upskill and invest in our teams that look after so many of our neighbourhoods.
There are 26 gardeners currently on the programme, many of whom have been a participant for over a year. Catalyst has worked hard to maintain a high retention rate, as we know it can be difficult to manage education and employment without proper support.
David Benson, Head of People and Organisational Development, said: “We’re very proud to have won this award. Catalyst is committed to providing opportunity across the organisation to grow and develop and it is partnerships like this that make Catalyst an exciting organisation in which everyone can flourish and thrive.”
Shahid Mehmood, Estate Services Gardener, joined Catalyst three years ago and has been on the apprenticeship scheme for 18 months. Shahid spoke highly of the support he has received from his team: “I love working here. My team leader has been right by my side since I applied for gardening. He did my first lot of training. My line manager has also been very supporting and encouraged me in my journey.”
Catalyst residents are already seeing the benefit of his work, he said: “In Cambridge road, an old lady came out and said I’ve been living here for so long, I’ve never seen our site that beautiful.”
We have a dedicated Learning and Organisational Development team that work across the entire 1,100 strong business to make sure that our employees have an opportunity to learn new skills and progress their career. The Learning and Development team have helped to provide an environment in which everyone can grow and develop, and this approach is echoed across our senior leaders in all departments.
Find out more about apprentice opportunities at Catalyst.