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Dorset’s biggest private landlord has taken on seven apprentices this academic year – more than ever before.

They are all on day-release or at night school studying for qualifications in plumbing, electrical installation, plastering and carpentry.  DWP Housing Partnership has about 3,000 tenants and its maintenance team is responsible for the repairs and upkeep of the growing housing stock.  Through investment in its 110 strong workforce, DWP’s staff have received training and development opportunities that enhance trust and employee commitment.  Since formally taking on apprentices five years ago, DWP has seen the benefit of the policy with a stable and more incentivised workforce.

Steve Wells, of DWP which is headquartered in Boscombe, said: “We are investing in our staff and enabling them to gain qualifications because it is good for them and good for us.  With recruitment we try and employ local people and because we’re helping advance their careers they are more likely to stay with us.  Many wanted to go to college but didn’t have anyone to sponsor them so we stepped in – and the number of apprentices grows each year.  This policy creates stability and the new skills and knowledge our staff acquire are quickly shared among the team.  We’re not concerned with a person’s age and we keep our staff’s skills up to date with refresher courses.  Not only do we assist those in the maintenance team, but have helped others with finance and housing qualifications.  Our relationship with Bournemouth and Poole College is very good and we are reaping the benefits of our apprenticeships scheme.”

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