One of the best things about being a Minister in the Department for Work and Pensions – DWP has been seeing the results of the Government’s determination to help people into work first hand. Work is absolutely transformative for people who have struggled in the past and on Friday, just over the constituency border in Basingstoke, I joined one of our partners, Sovereign Housing Association, for their Employability Day. It was a fantastic chance to celebrate the progress of jobseekers and meet two of the wonderful apprentices, Kimberley and Sharon, to hear about the confidence they’ve gained from their apprenticeships. It wasn’t long before they had me trying my hand to see if I could make the grade with Kimberley in her carpentry work.
Sovereign provide homes across the South and South West of England and the Isle of Wight, and offer apprenticeships to help people start new careers in later life. Their innovative ‘adult improver’ scheme is aimed at women and older people looking for a change of direction, and covers plumbing, carpentry, electrical work and positions within customer service. With over 60 places offered to youth apprentices too, their programmes really offers something new.