Stewart Milne Group Cements its Support oF Apprenticeships with its Latest In-take
September 16, 2019

An Apprenticeship Case Study.

Stewart Milne Group has recruited a further 12 new apprentices to meet demand across its developments in Scotland.

Stewart Milne Group cements its support of apprenticeships with its latest in-take
Stewart Milne Group

The independent home builder and timber systems manufacturer now boasts 44 apprentices across the business at various stages in their career, reinforcing their commitment to apprenticeships as a way of attracting young people into the sector and offering them the opportunity to build attractive careers in construction.

The new apprentices, who will work in a variety of trades such as joinery, bricklaying, plumbing and painting, will undergo a four-year programme to gain the skills and experience needed to develop an exciting career in a sector which continues to face skills shortages.

As a result of this looming skills gap, construction apprenticeships are some of the most popular and competitive and the modern apprenticeships at Stewart Milne Group offer individuals a chance to join an award-winning team, with scope to build a long-lasting career.

Having been involved in apprenticeship schemes for almost 40 years, Stewart Milne Group now has many former apprentices in senior roles across, including heads of departments and even directors. 

Stewart Dalgarno, director of product development began his apprenticeship at Stewart Milne Homes 35 years ago. He said, “The apprenticeship scheme at Stewart Milne Group is an excellent pathway for those aiming to pursue a career in the construction sector. Year on year the company equip apprentices with the experience and knowledge to thrive within one of the UK’s largest housebuilders.

“Through hard work, and with support from the company, I was appointed a director before I was 30 and then relocated to England to take up the post of managing director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems.

“At Stewart Milne, we believe there is no wrong path and are very proud of our culture that has no limits on personal development. As our employees progress, there are opportunities and tools available to help them build a successful and rewarding career. This includes our internal and award-winning leadership programmes as well as fast track initiatives and MA degrees and certifications.”   

Looking to kickstart their careers at Stewart Milne’s Homes North division are apprentices Jamie Elliot, Jamie Cargill, Connor Leisk, Ryan Cruickshank, Nathan Stephen and Ryan Maclsaac.

A further six apprentices are due to start in Central Scotland later this month.

They will work on a variety of new developments across North and Central Scotland, with a range of trusted and expert Stewart Milne Group sub-contractors. 

New apprentice bricklayer Jamie Elliot said: “I am very excited to get started and take my first steps in the construction sector with Stewart Milne Group. The apprenticeship scheme is a great opportunity to develop a range of technical and practical skills, as well as offering job security for the future. 

“The apprenticeship scheme does not only equip you with vital skills for pursuing a career in construction, but also offers the chance to progress through the company.

“Having heard of many others who have progressed from apprentices to senior roles, I’m looking to achieve every success at Stewart Milne Group through a combination of hard work and determination.”

Apprenticeships with Stewart Milne Group involve training on-site and at college during the first three years, giving an apprentice a balance of technical and practical skills. Trade apprentices then complete their fourth year on site.

The 44 apprentices, at various stages in their apprenticeships, including civil engineers, quantity surveyors and architectural technicians, represent around 5% of Stewart Milne Group’s total workforce and the new recruits will join and learn from this supportive community.

Case Study: Management and Leadership Qualifications Help Boost Efficiency at NHS Trust
September 13, 2019

Management staff at a London NHS Trust have been taking advantage of a successful training and development partnership between London South East Colleges and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust where the training of staff, particularly in the area of operations and departmental management, is highly important.

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust is responsible for University Hospital Lewisham, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Greenwich, and a range of community health services in Lewisham. Its vision is ‘to work together to provide high quality care for every patient, every day’.

For over seven years, the Trust has employed the services provided by London South East Colleges for the training and development of staff from a wide spectrum of management roles including clinical and administrative.

Ranjan Pattni is the Trust’s Apprenticeship Lead and responsible for supporting staff in training and development via the apprenticeship route. She Says:

“Each year we offer our staff the opportunity to apply for the Operations and Department Management CIM Level 5 Diploma which covers strategic planning, budgeting and finance, managing people and processes, leadership, managing change, decision-making, communications and building relationships with staff, patients and their families. It is a two-year course in which each candidate is required to pass six units. Needless to say, this is not easy, especially while balancing work, study and family life.

“This leadership and management training is a mix of bi-weekly lectures and assessments, distance learning and assignment-led projects – it works well for the majority of learners. A dedicated tutor from the College is always on hand to support and guide them through their studies.

“These courses help staff in their day-to-day roles, as well as enabling them to build their skill sets and progress their careers.”

Jean Firaza, 28, is a Ward Manager at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. She was promoted from senior staff nurse last year to work on two new wards. Jean says:

“All of a sudden, I was operating within a network of new people and my responsibilities pretty much tripled overnight. Though a lot of these were dependent on my general aptitude and previous experience, I recognised immediately that I needed more training – particularly dealing with challenging behaviour, introducing new working patterns and resources and embracing change.

“I started this course in November 2018 and within weeks I was learning about leading and organising a team (I have a team of 25 staff members associated with my ward). I’m enabling my team to become more self-sufficient and familiar with new systems and structures, creating a calm and composed working environment and a safe, comfortable and hygienic recovery space for patients. It’s also helped having a superb manager who has supported me in this training, regularly highlighting all the positive changes he’s noticed in me since I started the course.”

Maureen Ekhuemelo, 37, is a Senior Staff Nurse at Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s endoscopy unit and is responsible for ensuring clinical excellence and close cooperation with staff specialising in various disciplines. Maureen says: 

“At present I am a team leader and need to boost my confidence by learning more people-related skills. Our tutor, Badar, has such a broad knowledge of management techniques and principles that are common to all sectors. As well as learning the core fundamentals of each unit, we pick up even more with practical exercises and simulated activities that allow you to put what you have learnt into practice.

“The course has really helped me think on my feet a lot quicker, as well as learn how to solve complex problems or remove difficult obstacles by simply approaching them from different perspectives. It’s helped me to shine new light on dilemmas and complications that can arise during a typical shift in my unit and has empowered me to become more assertive and confident. It is a very good course and I’m so pleased that I decided to take it when I did.”

Career Breaks Are the New Norm – So Why Are They Still Stigmatised?
June 7, 2019

When we think of career breaks, motherhood tends to spring to mind. But there are many other reasons why people take time
off work, and getting back in isn’t always easy.

Geoff was 44 when he found himself faced with a difficult decision: to leave his 30-year coal mining career behind him and retrain, or to continue doing what he knew best. He was at this crossroads because his 11-year-old daughter was concerned that he was putting himself in danger each day; she was scared of losing her dad. She didn’t know it, but her fear was very much grounded in reality. Mining has the third highest fatality rate of any industry. It now claims the lives of nine workers on average each year, and that number was even higher when Geoff was working in the industry.

With his daughter’s concerns front of mind, he decided to take a leap of faith and retrain as a teacher. Following two years of accelerated study, he found himself in a position where he was entering a new industry for the first time in over three decades. Read more

Facebook Wants to be the Place to find a Mentor
August 16, 2018

Last year, the social media giant dipped its toes in online mentorship. Now they are getting serious.

Facebook is gearing up to mine what it sees as a massive opportunity to engage its users by offering mentorship through its Groups channel.

“Last year, the team worked with a couple of nonprofits,” says Gabe Cohen, Facebook’s product manager for Mentorship. In November 2017, the social network announced the new tool as a pilot program, and now they are rolling it out in earnest.

This is not to be confused with the partnership between Facebook’s Workplace and Ten Thousand Coffees that also debuted a mentorship matching feature recently. The startup is using Facebook’s Workplace to integrate its services to its client companies looking to match mentees with mentors within the organizations.

The good news for Facebook is that they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. In fact, when they debuted Mentorship last year, each mentee and mentor was matched by a nonprofit partner organization to work through a step-by-step program. The programs were developed by the organizations, tailored to fit the mentees, and geared to work directly on the platform through private interactions between the pair.

The pilot began with iMentor (for education) and The International Rescue Committee (for crisis recovery). From the outset, Facebook was eyeing expansion into other areas like addiction recovery and career advancement, according to Cohen. And he’s quick to point out that as “privacy is very important to us” (Facebook’s recent and constant refrain in all public forums), each pair’s conversations are private.Other Groups have participated since the initial launch, like Mama Dragons, which Cohen describes as a support network for Mormon families with LGBTQ kids. “They’re having a profound faith and family crisis,” he explains, “and finding people going through that experience is really hard.”

Read more

Manufacturing a Career to Success
August 6, 2018

In this article published by the CDI, Bhavina Bharkhada explains why career inspiration is the key to solving the skills shortage in the manufacturing industry.


BBC – Capital: What If We Have to Work Until We’re 100?
July 19, 2018

The following article was written by By Zaria Gorvett

Retirement is becoming more and more expensive – and future generations may have to abandon the idea altogether. So what kinds of jobs will we do when we’re old and grey? Will we be well enough to work? And will anyone want to employ us? 

“Between the ages of 100 and 105, I published four articles,” says the elderly man sitting opposite me. Now 106, Bill Frankland is probably the oldest active doctor on the planet. Though I’m meeting him on a bright, cloudless Saturday morning, he is happily settled in his office in London, dressed in a suit and tie, surrounded by a sea of academic papers.

As of 2015 there were are around 451,000 living centenarians, and this number is set to increase eightfold over the next three decades

Frankland first trained as a doctor in the 1930s. During his long and illustrious career, he has become the world’s foremost authority on allergy. He worked with the Nobel Prize-winning discoverer of antibiotics, (Credit: Zaria Gorvett)Alexander Fleming, and was once called out to Iraq to treat dictator Saddam Hussein.

Though the rules at the time meant he had to retire officially at 65, there was no question of giving up work and he has been working in a voluntary capacity ever since. “What would I do otherwise?” he explains. His latest project will be out soon. “I thought ‘I must write another article when I’m 106’. And actually it’s scribbled out already. I’ve more or less finished it.”

Needless to say, Frankland’s attitude is unusual. Most people imagine their later years as an extended holiday – a chance to swap desk chairs for arm chairs and start taking afternoon naps. But this might not be quite how things pan out in the future.

There’s a sizeable gap between the amount that most people are saving towards their retirement and the amount that they’re likely to need. It’s growing every day. According to a recent report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), people living in some of the world’s largest economies – the US, UK, Japan, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, China and India – collectively face an eye-watering $428 trillion savings hole by 2050.

Meanwhile, the global population is older than ever before. As of 2015 there were are around 451,000 living centenarians, and this number is set to increase eightfold over the next three decades. In the US, they’re the fastest growing age group. In the UK, there are now so many that the Queen has hired extra staff

Read more

How the IfA Assigns Apprenticeship Funding Bands
June 20, 2018
The following article is by SIR GERRY BERRAGAN, Chief executive, the Institute of Apprenticeships and published by FE Week.

There’s plenty going on at the Institute for Apprenticeships at the moment, and its boss Sir Gerry Berragan is using the first instalment of his exclusive new column for FE Week to tell you all about it over the coming months

The Institute is a “crown non-departmental public body”, putting employers at the heart of decision-making processes, to improve the quality of apprenticeship standards in England.

We do that through our work to approve new apprenticeship standards and assessment plans, and by making recommendations to the Department for Education on the appropriate level of funding high-quality delivery and value for money.

We’re just over a year old and have achieved a lot; there are now 276 standards approved for delivery across 15 occupational routes. A further 268 standards are currently in development. We’ve worked with over 2,500 businesses of all sizes to develop apprenticeship standards that are rigorous, future-proofed and meet the needs of employers and apprentices alike.

Read more

What Do Young People Really Think About Apprenticeships?
May 14, 2018

The following article was published 11th May 2018 by Charlotte Smith.

 Apprenticeships have a huge amount to offer and the more we do to help young people see apprenticeships as relevant, the quicker the image problem will go away.

To do this, we need to understand what they think of them. In 2017, Investors in People conducted research into how young people perceive apprenticeships to find out just that.

Of 1000 young people surveyed, 47% had considered an apprenticeship, which is great. But 53% said they had never considered one. Read on to find out why.

Why don’t young people consider apprenticeships?

Well over half (62%) said that they wanted to do A Levels or go to university

This is not surprising: university seems to have become the most valuable route in the eyes of young people. This has been reinforced by careers advice and the popular media, which tend to lean on university as the ‘gold standard’ of post-secondary education.

In the knowledge economy, A Levels and university have been seen as more attractive routes than apprenticeships. In London, which is dominated by knowledge economy work, parents are 40% less likely to want their children to do apprenticeships than in other areas.

28% said the industry they want to work in doesn’t offer apprenticeships

Read more

AELP Guidance for Providers
May 11, 2018

This document has been produced by AELP as a guide to help providers and employers understand and work to the current ESFA funding rules on planning and delivering a minimum of 20% off-the-job training (OTJT).

Both the ESFA and DfE have seen this guidance and provided feedback during its development.

Zero-Hours Contracts: The Trouble with the Facts
May 3, 2018

Ian Brinkley, Chief Economist, CIPD has written an article about zero-hours contracts.

The latest estimates around zero-hours contracts confirm how difficult it has been to measure the number of people on these or similar contracts, let alone how much that volume has grown in recent years. The reality is that we cannot pin down these numbers with any confident degree of certainty.

In attempting to piece the picture together, we have two measures. The first is from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) which tracks individual responses. In the period Dec 2017–Feb 2018, just over 900,000 people or about 2.8% of the workforce said they were on a zero-hours contract. The second, more recent measure is the Business Survey (BS), which showed that as at Nov 2017, employers had issued 1.8 million ‘non-guaranteed hours contracts’ or NGHCs to use the Office for National Statistics (ONS) label.

 Access the full article here