Aldwyck helps more young people into the world of work
Aldwyck Housing Group has helped more young people from Luton and Central Bedfordshire make the transition from school or college into work or further education.
For the second year, Aldwyck has partnered with the EY Foundation’s ‘Our Future’ employability skills and work experience programme. Run in student holidays, the scheme gives 16-19-year olds the opportunity to develop skills and confidence to help them into work.
Based at Aldwyck’s Head Office in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, this year’s cohort of nine took part in a varied programme which included an introduction to Aldwyck as an employer, two weeks paid work experience along with training and team activities. Each young person was assigned a mentor to support and guide them through the programme and beyond as they look at their future options.
During their two weeks work experience, each young person joined a department they’d expressed an interest in. This year these included IT, Finance, Community Involvement, Communications and Marketing, and Asset Management and Planning. Working on real projects gave the young people an opportunity to learn essential workplace skills such as planning and organising, writing for business, teamwork and giving presentations.
Councillor Martin S Kennedy, Mayor of Houghton Regis, was a special guest at the end of programme prize giving and shared his experience of how he started his working life and told us, "I'm really pleased with the partnership between EY and Aldwyck. It's providing excellent opportunities to local young people giving them a solid start to working life. The transition from school to work isn't always easy but an experience like this helps unlock individual potential."
Cheered on by friends, family and colleagues, students received their Chartered Management Institute accredited certificates. For his particular achievements and positive attitude Luke Eckersley was named ‘Young Person of the Programme’. Luke worked with Aldwyck’s in-house electrical team and under their guidance got some hands-on experience.
Luke said, “I applied for the programme as I wanted to develop my communications skills and have something on my CV to talk about. I’ve learnt so much from taking part and working at Aldwyck - not only the practical skills an electrician needs, but how to act in a professional workplace. I feel I’ve become more confident speaking with people. With encouragement and support from my mentor, I’ve applied for an Electrician Apprenticeship role at Aldwyck. Something I wouldn’t have done before.”
We’re delighted to say that Luke was successful in his application and will be starting work with us later this month.
Rhys Evans, Aldwyck’s Community Engagement Manager, told us, “We’re so proud of all the students on this year’s programme, and especially Luke who’s our youngest participant. He grasped every opportunity and we saw his confidence grow and are thrilled he’ll be starting his apprenticeship with us. As a provider of affordable homes, it’s so important we give local young people a step up into their working lives, and our partnership with the EY Our Future Programme does exactly that. A year on from our first programme, we’ve seen the impact it’s had from the success stories of last year’s students – one of which impressed us so much she’s been working for us over the summer before she starts university.”
Jodie McNally, Head of Young People Services at EY Foundation, said, “By working with local employers, like Aldwyck, we’re able to give the young people on the Our Future programme an enriched experience due to the breadth of career options they’re exposed to. We really value working with employers like Aldwyck who share our passion for helping young people to unlock their potential, so we’re thrilled that this partnership is now in its second year. Having employed one of the students from the programme over the summer, their commitment to this cause beyond the 6-month programme is clear to see, and this made them deserving winners of our Corporate Partner of the Year category at our Impact Awards this year.”