We are one of the Midlands' leading and most successful providers of affordable homes.

A pilot scheme set up to help more women enter the construction industry has been shortlisted for a national award.

Project UPLIFT, which was launched by leading Midlands landlord whg, is a contender for Best Training Scheme in the 24housing Awards 2019.

The pilot aims to help women who have been long-term unemployed gain the skills they need to become a tradesperson. Launched in March, the scheme has had excellent results in supporting those who may struggle to get into the jobs market due to family commitments or lack of experience.

Working in partnership with Walsall College and the DWP, a group of 12 women spent six weeks learning a range of trade skills, including painting and decorating and tiling at whg’s training centre The Workplace.

This was followed in June by a two week work placement at Butcroft House, one of whg’s Wellbeing Homes schemes, where they worked alongside whg tradespeople and contractors CLC to decorate and spruce up communal areas.

Within a month of completing the programme five had secured apprenticeships with whg’s maintenance teams, with an additional two offered positions with CLC.

Participants have been supported throughout the pilot by whg’s Employment and Training team.

Employment and Skills Manager Alison Matthews said: “We’re delighted to be shortlisted for these awards. This scheme has not only helped participants gain employment, but also attracted more women into traditionally male dominated roles and diversified whg’s asset management team.

“My thanks go to contractors CLC for donating paint and materials and Buildbase for supplying toolkits for the participant’s worth over £2000.

“We are now looking at rolling the scheme out to support more of our customers make the move into employment.”

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 10th October at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.