Double apprentice success for young Coventry residents

Two young men from Coventry are celebrating winning full-time apprenticeships thanks to a job opportunity programme run by a local housing association.


Two young men from Coventry are celebrating winning full-time apprenticeships thanks to a job opportunity programme run by a local housing association.

Jamie Grant, from Canley, and Abdul Muhammad, from Keresley, are the first two people to land a full-time job as a result of the Whitefriars Housing scheme.

Whitefriars, part of WM Housing Group, has been working with Bouygues – the main contractor on the housing provider’s new £10 million Mulberry Gardens development at Papenham Green, in Canley – to provide training and job opportunities for local people.

Jamie, a Whitefriars resident, and Abdul attended a two-week accredited ‘construction bootcamp’ where they gained their Construction Skills Certification cards to allow them to work on building sites.

They both then applied for apprenticeships at Midlands-based Coopers Carpentry and completed a two-week trial, which went so well that they have now been taken on full-time.

Claire Hardwick, Head of Community Investment at WM Housing Group, said: “We spend many millions of pounds each year in Coventry. As part of that, we are working with all our contractors and partners to use this investment to offer employment and training opportunities for local people.

“As well as apprenticeships, we and our contractors are offering work placements, skills courses and coaching sessions to give people the chance to get into employment. That’s good for the people concerned and for the neighbourhoods where they live.

“We are also working with local schools to raise aspirations and ensure pupils are aware of the opportunities available within our own organisation and with our partners. With the right skills, opportunities and support we can help people make a real change in their lives.

“Jamie and Abdul are a testament to the success of the programme. We are thrilled that they have secured these apprenticeships and hope it is the start of great careers for them both.”

Simon Wingate, Operations Director at Bouygues, said: “We are delighted that our joint working with Whitefriars has delivered such great results so soon.

“Our company is committed to putting something back into the neighbourhoods where we work, and training and apprenticeships like this bring real benefits to ourselves and our communities. Congratulations to Abdul and Jamie – we wish them well for their future careers.”

To celebrate Jamie and Abdul’s success, they were presented with their first set of carpentry tools at a special ceremony by WM Housing Group Chief Executive Kevin Rodgers, Simon Wingate and Coopers Carpentry Managing Director Paul Cooper.

Paul Cooper said: “We were so happy with the way Jamie and Abdul got on that we decided to offer them both an apprenticeship. We have a real shortage of skilled people in construction, and programmes like this help us find talented and committed people to help us succeed as a company.”