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The community investment team work with a broad range of people to help them find employment. Around a year ago they worked with a young person called Ashley O’Brien.

After leaving school, Ashley didn’t really have a clear idea about where or how to find work. After contacting the community investment team at Yorkshire Housing, he was given lots of advice and support around developing his CV, as well as options to help develop skills. In particular, he applied, and was accepted on to, the Keepmoat kick start apprenticeship programme.

A year on and he has now joined Keepmoat as a multi-trade professional on a two year apprenticeship. Keepmoat site manager Neil Wright was so impressed with Ashley that he nominated him for the Efficiency North apprentice of the year, which he went on to win.

Neil said: “Since joining almost a year ago, he has transformed himself as an individual, become a lot more confident within the workplace and has learnt an extraordinary amount of life skills as well as site trade skills. He consistently applies himself and is not afraid of putting in extra effort. He is a real asset to the team, and will no doubt grow into becoming an exceptional multi-skilled engineer.”

Employment adviser Imran Hussain said: “This is a fantastic example of how community investment and support can really pay dividends. By helping from the start, we are able to coach in interview techniques and help people realise their potential. I’m delighted that Ashley’s thrived in this role and winning the award is a real accomplishment.”