Partnership secures exciting new ‘Live and Work Scheme’ with Sandwell NHS Hospital
19 JUN 2014

A ground breaking new scheme will offer homeless young people both a place to live and an apprenticeship.

The Live and workscheme has been carefully designed to ensure young people can take up an apprenticeship at City and Sandwell hospitals and live in nearby accommodation and afford to pay rent and service charges out of what they earn, thus creating the ideal stepping stone to independence.Young people who successfully complete their apprenticeships will be able to apply for permanent jobs with the Trust.

This innovative new scheme has been in the pipeline for some time. Working with the Trust, St Basils will bring funding from the governments Empty Homes Fund to renovate empty properties on the hospital site. St Basils will manage the properties and support the young people who will be offered apprenticeships within the Trust. 27 young people will be offered apprenticeships and live and work on the site. The particularly innovative element of the scheme is that young people will pay their way from their earned income and will be free of any welfare benefit.

St Basils Director of Operations Lorna Esien explains: All involved wanted this to be a really innovative scheme that would really help young people find their independence so we wanted to make sure that it is not just accommodation thats on offer but jobs as well

Sandwell Hospital are a massive employer, its not just medical and caring services they provide, they have a whole host of other roles on site including Administration and estates maintenance, which is often a good starting point for a variety of careers and many of our young people have benefitted from similar opportunities so we felt would be of interest to our young people

To be truly innovative we wanted young people taking part in the scheme to be completely independent of the benefits system, which can be tricky on an Apprenticeship salary. However this will be achieved thanks to the Trust who have agreed to lease the building to us for free, keeping rent and service charges for young people to a minimum

As a pilot before the full scale project, pre-employment courses were offered to St Basilsyoung people between April and May 2014 and we are very pleased to announce that as a result of this 4 of our young people have been offered apprenticeships at Sandwell Hospital with immediate starts!

Renovation work on the accommodation will begin shortly and it is hoped will be completed by late Autumn with a proper launch scheduled for December 2014, when the accommodation will be opened up to young people who want to take up this opportunity and can live in the Sandwell area.