Yorkshire based Sewell Estates has announced plans to triple its recruitment of graduates, apprentices and trainees over the next five years, in support of local economic recovery.
The group of companies recently secured a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunity and is well known for championing social mobility.
Managing director Jo Barnes (left) said, given the exceptional circumstances, a response that went above and beyond was required to support the communities the business works within.
She said: “For decades, investing in young people and creating a talent pipeline has been a core part of our business strategy. We strive to be a ‘home for talent’ and create empowered leaders that become economically active business ambassadors and role models in the communities we serve.
“This is of great benefit as it creates a destination for the next generation of leaders that are imperative to grow the business.
“But post-pandemic, we wanted to go one step further to support the next generation, particularly given the levels of unemployment currently experienced in many of the areas we serve in the North of England. As a board of directors, we have committed to tripling our annual investment in graduates, trainees and apprentices, starting this year.”
Sewell Estates is made up of Sewell Investments, Sewell Construction, Sewell Facilities Management, Illingworth and Gregory, and Shared Agenda.
The Sunday Times Top 100 Place to Work For business is aiming to recruit more than 30 graduates, apprentices, and trainees in 2021, with nine of these already being in post.
Sewell has always championed social mobility and ‘grown its own’, with 75% of the senior team coming from non-academic routes into employment and gaining their qualifications whilst in the workplace.
Ms Barnes added: “We hire on attitude and culture fit, with the understanding that the skills needed can be taught on the job. Young people contribute to energy levels and creative thinking that are hugely beneficial in business.”
The belief in young talent played a huge part in the growth of Shared Agenda, which has doubled in size in the last three years, with a significant proportion of that growth coming from the recruitment of young talent.
Sophie Lee (right), former graduate and now a consultant at Shared Agenda, said: “After graduating, I was looking for a company that would offer me an opportunity based on my enthusiasm and commitment, despite my lack of real working world experience upon finishing university.
“Since joining as a graduate three years ago, it has certainly lived up to my expectations. I am now a consultant after being encouraged to develop and grow, having been supported every step of the way.”
Sewell Construction has also seen a large increase in graduates, apprentices and trainees over the past few years. Jack Henderson (left), assistant site manager, said: “Since joining Sewell Construction it has been refreshing to be surrounded and supported by a team of like-minded individuals.
“It has always been important to me to find a company that was a good cultural fit and would invest in my career development. This couldn’t be more true here at Sewell; my progression and development are at the forefront, and the wider management team go out of their way to ensure that I am on the right track, gaining invaluable first-hand knowledge and experience.
“I will be starting a degree in construction management at Sheffield Hallam University in September of this year; I’m excited to be able to further my academic career with the support and guidance from Sewell Construction.”
This is one of many initiatives that Sewell Group drives not as a strategy or one-off, but as part of its core purpose as a business. With more announcements to come over the next couple of weeks, Sewell Group wants to use its event as part of Humber Business Week on June 8 to share its story and explore how promoting opportunity makes good business sense.