FTSE 250 strategic outsourcing company, MITIE, has honoured the latest graduates of the ‘Real Apprentice’ scheme in an awards ceremony hosted by Linklaters in London.
Sarah Jones was awarded the female apprentice winner of the 2010 series for her tenacity, integrity and commitment throughout the scheme which works to break down barriers and help the long-term unemployed and people with a physical or mental disability back into the world of work through placements both at MITIE and with its clients.

Following a period of unemployment, Sarah undertook the 12 week apprenticeship with a placement at one of MITIE’s partners. During her time on the Real Apprentice scheme the mother of five was burgled and had issues with the payment of her benefits. Despite this, Sarah attended every day of her placement and remained dedicated throughout. She is now employed as a clerical & administrative assistant.

Speaking about the scheme Sarah commented: “The Real Apprentice has made the quality of our lives change for the better and I am now able to be a positive role model in the life of my children.”
Since the start of the scheme in London in 2005, 197 people have taken part, with 134 real apprentices completing the programme and 98 of those offered permanent jobs, both at MITIE and with other employers. Following the initial success of the scheme in London, it has now been extended and in 2010 the first Glasgow Real Apprentice scheme was established. Plans to extend the scheme to other regions are underway following its success in London and Glasgow.
Jane James, Employment Regeneration Director at MITIE, commented:
“Not only is there a social and moral case for working together to make a difference to peoples’ lives, there is a solid business case. The Real Apprentice is about people helping people, and we encourage all individuals and organisations to get involved.”