9 February 2021

We’re excited to shout about National Apprenticeship Week – an opportunity to celebrate the amazing work of employers and apprentices throughout the country. We’d like to share the story of one of our residents, Mohammed, who is currently undertaking an apprenticeship with CMC Communications – an IT support company based in MK.

In October 2020, Mohammed found himself in a situation where he needed emergency housing. He moved into our new campus and entered the first stage of our support pathway – Supported Living. During those first few months, we were able to put measures in place to help create a level of stability for Mohammed.

During this time, YMCA MK’s Employment Team started to build a partnership with MK College to identify apprenticeship opportunities for our residents. The first to become available was with CMC Communications. Through support sessions with Mohammed, we identified that he had previous experience and interest in getting back into the IT industry, making the apprenticeship opening an excellent opportunity for him.

The apprenticeship was advertised within YMCA MK and several residents applied. Following assessments and interviews, Mohammad was offered the position. After securing his role and showing the right attitude and mentality, Mohammad progressed to Shared Living – the second of three stages within our pathway of support.

Mohammad has now been working with CMC Communications for three months and is really enjoying his job. He continues to show the right progress and is looking to move into one of our independent studio flats (the third stage of our pathway of support). Speaking about the apprenticeship Mohammed said:

“I’ve always had an interest in IT, so I was really pleased to be able to take on this position. Not only am I building on my experience, I’m also able to earn while I train. Had I not been living on campus at YMCA MK, I probably wouldn’t have found out about the opportunity. I’m really glad I moved in when I did.”

A network of support

Mohammed’s story is a great example of how someone’s life can be transformed when the right network of support is put in place. CMC Communications has a great relationship with YMCA MK and, knowing about the employment support we provide, wanted one of our residents to benefit from the apprenticeship opportunity.

Managing Director of CMC Communications, Simon Wright, said: “CMC works closely with MK College to promote apprenticeship opportunities. Knowing of the great pool of talent amongst the residents at YMCA MK, we wanted to bring this opportunity to someone who was being supported in taking positive steps towards their future goals. We were really pleased to welcome Mohammed to the team. He is adding value to the organisation and, more importantly, gaining a qualification that will benefit his long-term career.”

Coordinating this apprenticeship from MK College was Employer Engagement Manager, Julie-Ann Hammond. Her passion for helping young people seeking employment made the whole project seamless. We’ve also had the pleasure of working with Tracey Matthews, Assistant Principal: Apprenticeships & Adult Education, and Gill Hall, Support Coach: IAG and Careers. They have also shown great enthusiasm in helping us to provide education and employment opportunities for our residents.

Our Employment Team will continue to help more residents like Mohammed in finding valuable work and training. Through our links with the wider Milton Keynes community, we’re excited for the opportunities that lie ahead for our residents.