Rob Hudson, Interim Chief Executive Officer, shares his thoughts on getting back to education and our ambitious approach to supporting education partnerships.
As students head back to schools and universities, we mustn’t forget the disruption that education has faced due to COVID-19 and we should commend our educators as they seek a return to ‘normality’.
With exams and tests cancelled due to lockdown, students and teachers had to grapple with estimated grades before a dramatic U-turn to predicted results. For many A-Level students, this resulted in anxiety, as they waited to hear if they had secured a place at their university of choice. For teachers and regulators, this has been the busiest, most challenging summer period for many years.
It is also unfortunate to see apprenticeship vacancies drop steeply at the start of the lockdown period. I would urge all businesses, particularly those in the property and construction sectors, to make the most of available support to bring on talented young people as apprentices or wisely redirect apprenticeship levies.
At St. Modwen, the majority of our apprentices sit within our housebuilding business, St. Modwen Homes. Here, they currently make up 11% of its entire workforce. This number was 13% just six months ago, however, with over 18% of colleagues having been promoted in the last year, many of our apprentices have since found themselves in permanent, skilled roles. Interest for this year’s intake has also been significant, with our talent pool of candidates looking as promising as ever.
We need to make sure that we maintain and build on this momentum.
In February, we announced that we would be investing 1% of our cash profits into education partnerships every year – in a bid to impact over 20,000 people by 2025. While the pandemic has slowed our progress, I am determined that we will lead the way in providing opportunities for young people.”