Paradigm Housing helps apprentices build firm foundations

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Paradigm Housing Group is helping young people take their first steps on the career ladder with an apprenticeship scheme through East Berkshire College.

The leading housing provider, which has a head office in High Wycombe, is a big advocate of apprenticeships and currently employing nine apprentices in its property maintenance teams. The apprentices, who are aged between 20 and 24, are being trained in the workplace by Paradigm’s experienced professionals and attend Langley College one day a week to achieve their qualifications. As part of the company’s 440 strong team, they are helping to manage almost 14,000 homes for around 25,000 people.

Steve Pink, Electrical Manager at Paradigm, explains: “To ensure our high levels of customer service, we believe it is important to invest in our staff and grow our own employees, who will stay and develop with us. Apprenticeships are a great, flexible way to find new talent and provide our new recruits with a solid range of skills.

“We chose to work with East Berkshire College because of their experience in delivering the variety of apprenticeships we needed. We were extremely pleased by the quality of the candidates we had applying for our apprentice roles, which reflects how popular apprenticeships have become. Our apprentices have settled in well and we have received lots of great feedback from customers about them.”

Samantha White (aged 24), who is undertaking an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Maintenance Operations, was a delivery driver before joining Paradigm to pursue a career in the construction industry.

“I never thought I’d go back to college, but starting my apprenticeship with Paradigm has been the best decision I’ve made. Some tenants I visit are surprised to see a woman doing plumbing and maintenance jobs, but many actually feel more comfortable dealing with a female.”

She adds: “I’m really enjoying my work. I’m learning skills that I’ll be able to use for the rest of my life and every day is different, from hanging gates and repairing fencing to fixing taps and replacing pipes. An apprenticeship gives you more of an incentive to study because you understand the importance of what you are learning.”

Fellow apprentice, Joshua Horton (aged 21) agrees. Having taken his A Levels and worked for a spell as a dispenser in a pharmacy, Joshua wanted to do something more practical and applied for the Maintenance Multi-trade Level 2 Apprenticeship with Paradigm.

“My apprenticeship has changed my life completely”, enthused Joshua. “I’ve found a job I really enjoy. I go to college one day a week and the rest of the time I’m learning on the job. It’s a great balance. I look forward to going into college as everything I’m learning is helping me progress at work. I’m now working as part of Paradigm’s kitchen and bathroom team, and would like to develop my carpentry skills.”

For employers like Paradigm, apprenticeships are a great way to develop a skilled and motivated workforce, ensuring there are no future skills gaps. For young people, apprenticeships provide an excellent opportunity to gain experience, a qualification and a real career path.

Tim Harris (aged 22), who is in his second year of an Electrotechnical Level 3 Apprenticeship, explains: “As an apprentice, I pick things up much faster. I’m learning from professional people with years of experience and they are really supportive, which has made me more determined to progress and better myself.”

As well as the more traditional trade-based apprenticeships, East Berkshire College offers a range of apprenticeships in areas such as Business Administration, Accounting, Science, Engineering and Hospitality & Catering. An increasing range of new higher apprenticeships (Level 4) are also available, offering a more affordable and convenient alternative to university.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its range of apprenticeships, including the latest apprenticeship vacancies with an array of businesses, call 01753 793000 or click here.

East Berkshire College has over 35 years of experience in delivering high quality training to SMEs and multi-nationals in a wide range of industries. Businesses interested in finding out more about apprenticeships can contact the College on 01753 443855 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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