Phoenix Apprenticeships


If you’re leaving school or finishing university, it’s undoubtedly a difficult time to be trying to find work. At the council, Lewisham’s Mayor Steve Bullock (pictured above) has recognised this and has set up an apprenticeship scheme – on the open day about 800 interested applicants turned up.

Down at Phoenix Housing, they are doing the same and I was thrilled to have been asked to join the steering group. We had our first meeting today and are going to work hard over the next few weeks to make sure that our first intake can be ready to join College courses in September.

When recuited the apprentices will receive training for a few days each week and on other days, they will be out and about in Downham and Bellingham doing the small things that make a big difference – painting stairwells, railings, woodwork etc.

Part of the funding for the Phoenix Apprentices is coming from the Labour Government’s Working Neighbourhoods Fund. This fund is just one element of the package of support that the govermennt has put aside for tackling the worst effects of the recession. Lewisham has recently received an extra £3m for the next two years and we are making sure that we spend it on the people and areas that need it most.

The council is also applying to the Future Jobs Fund – part of Labour’s commitment to ensuring that any young person aged between 16 and 24 should not be out of work or training for any longer than 12 months (ideally this would be much shorter but it’s more than the Tories would do!) – fingers crossed that we get some good news in the next few months, so that we can help even more young people onto a path to success.

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