Photo shows chief executive Lesley Roberts, 50th apprentice Deborah Porter and Colin Fellows project manager

Described by local MP Emma Reynolds as ‘blazing a trail’, Wolverhampton Homes’ LEAP apprenticeship programme is celebrating after taking on its 50th tenant apprentice.

Wolverhampton Homes, the Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) which manages more than 23,000 homes in the city on behalf of Wolverhampton City Council, launched its Learning, Employment and Achievement Programme, dubbed ‘LEAP’, in 2012 and has so far helped more than 120 council tenants and their families to get work experience, training and qualification opportunities.

Now housing bosses are celebrating after offering their 50th apprenticeship to a tenant from Lanesfield.

Deborah Porter, aged 44, from Lanesfield joined the LEAP work experience programme earlier this year and has now been offered a twelve month apprenticeship, working as a handyperson – helping to do odd-jobs around homes in Wolverhampton.

Deborah, who had been out of work for ten years, had previously worked in various factory jobs but eventually decided to enrol at Wolverhampton College and become a qualified carpenter.

Deborah said:

I’m so happy to be back in work and putting my skills to the test. I’ve been out of work for ten years and getting involved in LEAP has given me a massive confidence boost and I’m loving every second of my apprenticeship.

Lesley Roberts, Chief Executive at Wolverhampton Homes said:

We’re so proud of our LEAP apprentices and what they’ve achieved. People like Deborah prove that if you give someone a chance, they’ll grasp it and it can help transform their lives.

More than 20 LEAP graduates have secured full time work in the past two years including Michelle Sawyer, 41 from Bilston who was named West Midlands Apprentice of the Year 2013’ and fellow Bilston tenant Shadrack Mbatha, 40, who was recently named Apprentice of the Year at the NFA Awards, one of the housing sector’s most prestigious ceremonies.

Tenants wanting to know more about the LEAP apprenticeship programme can visit our LEAP page.

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