Wheatley recognised for helping young people in the workplace
Wheatley Group has become one of the first housing, care and property management organisations in Scotland to achieve a new award for supporting young people in the workplace.
Wheatley gained Investors in Young People (IIYP) accreditation in recognition of the way it encourages and develops its young employees.
Investors in People (IIP), the force behind the new accreditation, described it as a “fantastic achievement” and praised Wheatley’s commitment to supporting youth employment.
Annabelle Ewing MSP, minister for youth and women’s employment, visited Wheatley Group to meet some of the young people who were involved in the accreditation assessment.
Over 200 of Wheatley’s 2,300 employees are young people – aged 16 to 24. Many have been recruited through the Group’s Community Janitors and Modern Apprentice programmes.
IIYP is the only people management standard that focuses on an employer’s recruitment and retention of young people. This represents a true commitment to the training and development of young people and demonstrates Wheatley Group as an employer of choice for young people.
IIP spent three days at Wheatley assessing the organisation and how it supports young colleagues.
Annabelle Ewing MSP said: “I feel proud to recognise the encouraging benchmark set by Wheatley Group in supporting young people in the workplace.
“I commend the efforts of Wheatley Group in helping Scotland’s young women and men into employment and congratulate the Group on its well-deserved achievement of the Investors in Young People accolade.”
Peter Russian, chief executive of Investors in People, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Wheatley Group.
“I envisage that many more organisations will wish to follow in the footsteps of Wheatley Group and demonstrate their commitment to young people by working with the Investors in Young People framework.”
Wheatley Group has taken on around 30 new modern apprentices every year since 2009 and many of the earliest intake are already forging successful careers in housing and care.
Over 100 Community Janitors are given year-long training placements every year, and many go on to get permanent jobs within the Group.
Both programmes directly benefit the Group’s customers with 70-80 per cent of placements being made to tenants or their families.
Wheatley Group chief executive Martin Armstrong added: “Our young colleagues, apprentices and trainees are the future of our organisation. They bring passion, ambition and fresh ideas to the Group and we want to make sure they have a nurturing and supportive environment to work in.
“Accolades like this show us we’re on the right track and that our young people are getting the support they need to develop their own careers and to deliver the very best services for our customers.”
The IIYP framework was set out following recommendations from the Wood Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce that organisations should do more to tackle youth unemployment in Scotland.