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MITIE’s first new Real Apprentice awarded

18 March 2010

Following adaptation of its pioneering Real Apprentice programme last year, the first winner has been announced, and disabled and formerly unemployed apprentices have been helped into employment

(l-r) Jim Knight MP, James Ritchie and John Telling, MITIE

The Real Apprentice programme by MITIE has successfully helped the long term unemployed and disabled members of the community back into the workplace.   The first intake of apprentices (since the scheme revision in 2009) has already seen success with many of the candidates now in employment, having previously been unemployed for at least 6 months. 
The new scheme has now grown to help the long term unemployed and disabled members of the community, comprised of mental, physical and cognitive disabilities. MITIE partnered with JobCentrePlus (London & City East) and the London Employer Accord (LEA) enabling this year's participants to keep their full benefits whilst on the programme, as well as receiving a travel and clothing allowance.
Following a two week screening and training process, the apprentices completed a ten week placement within various departments in MITIE.  During their placements, the apprentices’ participated in a variety of tasks ensuring candidates not only gained new skills but invaluable employee references and gave them the confidence to succeed in a working environment.
“As a people organisation, nurturing our employees to achieve the best they possibly can is a core part of our ethos,” commented Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO, MITIE.  “In the coming months, we will be rolling out the Real Apprentice to other areas of the UK enabling more people to become involved and giving them the chance to shine.”
This year the scheme has culminated in an awards ceremony to crown this year’s Real Apprentice.  On Wednesday 3 March 2010 the awards ceremony was held to  celebrate the achievements of all the apprentices and James Ritchie was crowned the winner of the programme, receiving £500 as a prize.  Since completing the programme James now works for MITIE working on their total FM contract at the National Audit Office.
Jim Knight, Employment Minister, speaking at the event, which was held in the Communities and Local Government HQ, said  “I want to congratulate MITIE on the Real Apprentice scheme and its achievements in giving young disabled people the opportunity to get on the career ladder.  With a quarter of the candidates now in employment this is a real success story for disabled people and the long term unemployed.”

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