Ringley supporting National Apprenticeship Week

apprentices
This year Ringley will be supporting National Apprenticeship Week, themed “Apprenticeships Deliver” aims to showcase the benefits high quality Apprenticeships deliver for both apprentices and their employers.
Apprenticeship Ambassador Mary-Anne Bowring, Managing Director of The Ringley Group Property Services company tells us why every company who takes CSR (corporate social responsibility) seriously should immediately take steps not only if they have an empty desk to fill it with an apprentice but also to show their support to young people.

Interested? Then here’s the steps Mary-Anne says you should take:
Step 1 – create a CSR page on your website
Step 2 – adopt the ‘youth charter’ The ‘youth charter’ is at the centre of getting young people focused on their future. You’ll find it at www.youthcharter.co.uk and you can sign up to show your support at The Recruitment and Employment Confederations website www.rec.uk.com
Step 3 – review your business growth strategy – see when someone leaves if you can take on an apprentice, this gives great opportunities for other staff to test their training and mentoring skills, brings great enthusiasm into an organisation and helps re-inforce a learning culture, something that any organisation in pursuit of excellence needs.
Step 4 – find out about the various apprenticeship routes, the number of frameworks are growing, for example Ringley supports Apprentices on the Customer Services Framework, Property Services, Accounting Technician and Creative & Digital Media Apprentices.
Step 5 – either you can go to a training provider, useful if you need support throughout the process and they become the employer for year 1, otherwise you can go to an apprenticeship delivery organisation and employ the apprentice direct.
Step 6 – when taking on your 1st apprentice you can claim a £1,500 allowance from the government.
To support National Apprenticeship week Ringley invites local employers to drop in to Ringley House, 349 Royal College Street to see their apprenticeship programme in action. Right now Ringley have 9 apprentices and have graduated 3 already. This will give local employers the opportunity to (a) meet an apprentice (b) understand how their training works.
At Ringley, we strongly believe in growing staff from within and have proven that when you replace one leaver with two apprentices the extra research and data you can collect can spur business growth and marketing efforts that otherwise we would not have time to resource. Ringley were voted ‘Local Employer of the Year 2012″ as chosen by the Camden & Islington chamber of commerce – perhaps this is one of the reasons why.

300 WORDS ON THE RINGLEY GROUP
The Ringley Group is a multi-award winning one-stop-shop for property services, and, with a brand promise of 100% transparency and money back guarantee Ringley have risen to be an acclaimed consumer champion.

Recognised by The Times/Sunday Times (here’s their write up http://tiny.cc/timesaward
Recognised by Camden & Islington Business Awards

Services include surveys, lease extensions, bank valuations, block management (service charge), specialist breach of lease litigation, enfranchisement, company secretarial services and sales and lettings. Ringley stand as Court Appointed Manager for a number of blocks where the management arrangements have broken down or become dysfunctional but prefer to empower Clients with the necessary knowledge and co-ordination to buy the freehold, claim the right to manage or extend their lease instead.

From HQ in Camden Town, London NW1, Ringley manage just under 10,000 properties (250 blocks) and spend over £7 million each year on maintenance and refurbishment, preferring to restore than replace. The portfolio spreads across the whole of London and the South East from Portsmouth, to Cambridge and Reading to Canterbury. No blocks is too small as Ringley have a ‘legal and financial admin’ package for small blocks of flats who otherwise could not afford a Managing Agent. These packages omit the property inspections but protect Clients from all the legal and financial pitfalls and given Ringley national exposure. Indeed the small blocks team has resident management companies, right to manage companies and freeholders properties using their BlockCare 300 package as far afield as Wales and Liverpool.

Recognised by several innovation awards, a national training award and various industry awards Ringley is a clear market leader. Their customer GATEWAYTM de-mystifies the service charge world, giving customers visibility down to every invoice paid. ‘Flatie’, the Ringley mascot, through www.leaseholdersupport.co.uk gives away the knowledge and expertise necessary to survive as a flat owner for free.

There are nearly 500,000 (487,313) leaseholders in owner occupied flats in London, of the 4.5M flats nationally, 1.5M are leasehold; Ringley is the place to go for all leasehold issues.

With a CSR second to none, in recognition of their contribution Ringley were in 2011 appointed as an ambassador for Apprenticeships and Training. Ringley’s leader Mary-Anne Bowring also sits as a governor of the Institute of Residential Property Managers.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP, OPINION, CONTRAVERCY
Ringley regularly participates in raising issues such as their response to Channel 4 Despatches documentaries such as Property Nightmares : the truth about leasehold (20th August 2012) and not excessively, but when there is a discussion ongoing we’ll blog a little or tweet something useful.
Our MD, Mary-Anne Bowring continues to call for changes to rectify fundamental flaws in leasehold legislation.

You will find Ringley writing letters to the Mayor of London or the Minister for Housing on key topics. Ringley has supported ARMA* in the call for greater regulation of Managing Agents and Estate Agents. Ringley are not afraid to come forward and call for regulation and voluntary codes to go further, a recent example being The 2012 code, issued by the Energy Retail Association (ERA) which is supposed to protect small businesses from crippling backdated energy bills but completely fails to do so. These microbusinesses are run by volunteer leaseholders purely to manage the communal areas of their homes and do not make a profit. Unexpected bills, often the result of energy companies misreading meters, can run into tens of thousands of pounds and are especially damaging to the leaseholders who must then foot the bill through their service charge payments.

Our MD, Mary-Anne Bowring sits as a Governor of the Institute of Residential Property Management and is part of the apprenticeship ambassadors network and is willing to speak at events, past examples include the Introduction to London Apprentices day and raising questions at Vince Cable’s “Apprenticeship Summit. Mary-Anne was also instrumental in encouraging the Institute of Property Management to build the ‘Property Management Apprenticeship framework’.
*ARMA –Association of Residential Managing Agents

Ringley champions apprenticeships and takes on four more

Ringley is committed to staff development and promotion of skills and education for young people. In February (as part of National Apprenticeship Week) both elements were brought together by taking on four additional apprentices and helping to launch COATA (The Confederation of Apprenticeship Training Agencies) which has HRH The Duke of York as its patron.

UK youth unemployment stands at 22%, accounting for over a million young people. Ringley is continuing to do its part in helping this ‘lost generation’ onto the employment ladder, by more than doubling the number of apprenticeships it provides.
With a workforce of over 50, Ringley initially took on three apprentices but was so pleased with their abilities and commitment, it is now taking on four more via the London Apprenticeship Company (LAC), an organisation that directly employs young people, taking all the risk and bureaucracy of recruitment and employment away from a host business. The first three apprentices went into client liaison, finance and communications roles, whilst two of those just joining are going into professional services, one into legal and the other into IT. All Ringley apprentices get to experience different aspects of the business, learn how the whole company works but most importantly contribute to the company’s success from day one.

“I’m particularly interested in staff development and in promoting skills and education for young people, so I’m delighted to continue supporting an apprenticeship training initiative,” explains Mary-Anne Bowring, MD at Ringley Group. “Even in these tough economic times, businesses need to invest in their staff and help young people onto the first rung of the commercial ladder. By providing them with an opportunity to demonstrate the value they can deliver and by supporting their progress, each of the apprentices we currently employ has proved their worth and they contribute to the growing success of our business.”
Mary-Anne Bowring and Jasper Gray (Ringley’s first apprentice who is due to graduate next month to a
‘real’ fulltime job with Ringley) were also invited to the launch of COATA (The Confederation of Apprenticeship Training Agencies) as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2012, (6-10 February 2012). Here they met with VIP’s and talked about their positive experience of using an apprenticeship training agency from the employers and employees perspective. An umbrella organisation that has HRH The Duke of York, as its patron, COATA has been set up by 11 Apprenticeship Training Agencies across the UK to promote and support apprenticeships and includes London Apprenticeship Company as one of the founders.

Jake Lewis was the last of the first three apprentices to join Ringley. He initially wanted to become a PE teacher but didn’t do too well in his AS exams so started to apply for volunteer sports coach roles with no success. He then attended an LAC assessment day and because he enjoyed maths, thought a Finance apprenticeship was for him and was quickly placed with Ringley. Jake explained: “So far I have spent time getting used to the computer system here and once I have a firm grasp on this will move onto more advanced stuff like bank reconciliation! Although still new, I already feel I’ve learned more here in my induction period than I ever did at school! I was also quite a shy person but this job is helping me come out of my shell.”
The London Apprenticeship Company provides a solution to the problems faced by both job seekers and employers today. It offers a valuable work-based learning route for individuals wanting to start out on a career path, but not wanting to go down the traditional route of formal education. For employers, apprenticeships provide businesses with talented, motivated people ready for the world of work… and at an affordable cost.

For more information about what Ringley Group has to offer in terms of employment and property management services visit www.ringley.co.uk or for the London Apprenticeship Company and apprenticeships currently on offer visit www.londonapprenticeship.co.uk or call 020 7963 8548.

And looking to the future Mary-Anne Bowring concludes: “Apprenticeships are an ideal way for businesses to move forward and grow. We have high hopes for the four new apprentices joining us and we will certainly be looking at taking on additional resource in this way. London Apprenticeship Company has and continues to prove to be the perfect partner in achieving our success.”