Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor…….


Recently we have been reviewing and updating our recruitment processes, to better support the demand and volume of the vacancies we offer and ensure we have the right skills in the right places.


It has thrown up some interesting discussion points and thoughts within the Futureworks team during our recent changes and move to join the Efficiency North Group. The team has worked well together to ensure our quality support and service has remained consistent throughout. Positivity has been an important factor which led to my reflecting on the expression ‘opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor’.


This neatly helps summarise the rationale for joining the ‘social housing’ sector to broaden and strengthen our offer.


During challenging times, I have learned through both positive and painful experience there are always opportunities, so I know we must grasp the challenges and turn them into opportunities and positives.


So how and why is this relevant to recruitment?


From the beginning of establishing Futureworks Yorkshire, an average of 7% of our apprenticeships have successfully been filled by women, pretty much reflecting the proportion of applications we receive. ‘Yes’ this is low and ‘yes’, we know we need to increase this number. We also know this is below the 12.8% average of women working in the construction industry nationally (ONS 2016), which is also low but illustrates the low representation of women across construction.


On further reflection and analysis it is interesting to note in the last two months we have recruited an increased number of young women into some exciting new positions, whilst at the same time we have seen two young women leave after successfully completing their apprenticeships and both being offered excellent permanent positions in the sector in trade and technical careers. On reviewing our stats, we are proud to report over the last 4½ years 100% of our women apprentices have been offered permanent employment in the sector.


So what more can we do to continue and build on this recent trend? Can you help us continue our recent trend, the opportunities of wider networks, raised awareness and stronger profile can all help. An opportunity to work with new partners following our recent changes…..


We are lucky to be working in the ‘right’ region to do this, Leeds College of Building has previously been recognised as having a successful training model for improving women’s engagement in the sector. We are proud to have an excellent working relationship with the college who already provide the training for a number of our apprentices.


I think the evidence is clear, there is a need to ‘think differently’ and also consider what can we ‘do differently’ to support our drive to continue to fill the skills gap across the sector.


We are all ears.


We know this is not an exclusive challenge for construction and the built environment, and our recent move to join Efficiency North has also highlighted the need to support women into exciting careers across the social housing sector – but this is not an excuse to do nothing.


We are very much on the ‘dance floor’ and will continue to explore the opportunities throughout the changing world we operate within to help drive the attractiveness of our apprenticeship offer to all…….


Best regards