This week (7-13 February) marks the 15th annual National Apprenticeship Week. As one of the largest apprenticeship providers in Knowsley, Livv Housing Group’s latest success story, Ciaran Ellis, is just one example of how apprenticeships can make a positive impact.
Continuing from 2021, this year’s National Apprenticeship Week theme is ‘Build the Future’. Individuals at any age are encouraged to reach their career goals by building their skills and knowledge through an apprenticeship – and Ciaran Ellis from Huyton, Merseyside has done just that.
Having recently completed a compliance apprenticeship with Livv Housing Group, the 18-year-old has now gone on to secure a permanent role as Processing Advisor at the housing association.
After finishing school in 2019, Ciaran, like many young people, didn’t feel that continuing with full-time education was the right path for him. Living in the Knowsley borough, he received a flyer in the post promoting Livv’s pre-apprenticeship scheme. Whilst Ciaran didn’t know what he wanted to do in the future, he knew that this was an opportunity that could open doors.
Ciaran spent six months on Livv’s pre-apprenticeship programme, where he studied for a Level 2 qualification in Business and began preparation for life as a fully-fledged apprentice. He attended college one day a week and carried out on-the-job training (working from home due to lockdown) four days a week.
Upon successful completion of the pre-apprenticeship programme, it was clear to his managers that Ciaran had potential. Interested by how varied a role in the Compliance team would be, Ciaran then applied, and secured, a full-time compliance apprenticeship at Livv in September 2020, where he worked towards his Level 3 qualification accredited by the Chartered Institute of Housing.
Ciaran said: “Choosing to do an apprenticeship was the best decision I have ever made. Going from being in education to stepping out of my comfort zone and immersing myself into a real workplace environment with all these adults of different ages and backgrounds was a big change and having the courage to make that leap – and being able to adapt – is something that I am still proud of.
“Over the past couple of years, I have gained so much experience in the real world of work and developed invaluable skills. I have also been given additional responsibility in my role. At Livv, everybody wants each other to do well and that is proven in the support I was given. I wasn’t treated like I was ‘just an apprentice’, I was treated like everybody else which is what you need when you’re making that transition between school and work.”
As his 18-month apprenticeship programme was coming to an end, Ciaran set his sights on the future and after a successful application and interview, he recently secured the position of Processing Advisor within Livv’s Customer Insight Directorate. His main responsibilities involve managing arrears on rent accounts.
Ciaran continued: “I really enjoyed doing my apprenticeship at Livv and I am delighted to have now achieved my Level 3 qualification. My apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to build my skills and knowledge and allowed me to get my foot in the door in terms of a permanent contract. A year into my apprenticeship I knew that my ultimate goal was to secure a full-time role here and I am so pleased to have been able to achieve it. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and seeing where it takes me in the future.”
Over the past nine years, Livv Housing Group, headquartered in Prescot, has helped around 170 young people secure roles.
Ring-fenced for 16 to 25-year-olds living in the Knowsley borough, Livv’s apprenticeship programmes span a range of areas including marketing, facilities management, finance, joinery, plumbing, homes sales and business intelligence.
Sharon Marsh, Executive Director of Resources at Livv Housing Group, commented: “National Apprenticeship Week aims to highlight the exceptional work being done by employers and apprentices across the country and here at Livv, our apprenticeship schemes are fundamental to us as a business. As proven with success stories such as Ciaran’s, our apprenticeships are invaluable, enabling young people in the borough to develop skills and gain qualifications, providing a platform on which they can build long and successful careers.”
For more information about Livv Housing Group, visit www.livvhousinggroup.com