National Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship Week

Supporting young people through apprenticeships

The Customer Service Centre (CSC), an integral part of Mears Living, has a strong commitment to investing in young people through providing apprenticeship opportunities.  This forms a key component of their social value work; reaching back out to the community to offer people practical and valuable experience within a contact centre, hopefully leading to a full-time position either within the CSC, or within the wider business.

Lewis Hamer and Muhammed Choudhury are Team Leaders within the CSC, with direct responsibility for the recruitment and management of apprentices.  When apprentices first join the CSC, they are given an initial intensive training period, which teaches them about Mears, our values and what Mears has to offer as well as the key contracts across Mears Housing Management which the CSC support.  The next phase of this training is work shadowing. Apprentices spend a period shadowing Customer Service Agents and Administrators, learning the systems and how to handle a variety of different calls and situations. Following this they begin to take calls whilst continually being supported by a Customer Service Agent, listening in and supporting them throughout the call. Eventually they gain the confidence to take a call themselves and find solutions to customer issues.

Over the last 2 years the CSC have had 8 apprentices join us, one progressing into an administrative position within the CSC and has continued to excel, another has become a Customer Service Agent within the Out of Hours team, and another joined the repairs and maintenance division in Rotherham under Mears FM.  Others have not found careers within Mears but have found full time employment in other organisations.

Lewis Hamer said, “Having apprentices within the CSC is such a great experience for all concerned, not only does it give Muhammed and I the opportunity to grow and develop our own management and training skills, but it enables our apprentices to gain value experience working in a fast paced customer service environment and dealing with such a wide variety of customers; from those in social housing to those seeking asylum.  Both of us get enormous satisfaction out of seeing our apprentices grow and develop and come up with their own suggestions for improvements to our service.  We’re always looking for opportunities to develop people, so they have a clear path for career success”.

Muhammed Choudhury said, “Our apprentices are given a range of activities and tasks to complete to develop their skills, we closely monitor their performance and continually provide feedback on what could be improved but more importantly on their achievements so that confidence grows, and momentum builds”.