Saffron Housing Creates 20 New Apprenticeships

South Norfolk based Saffron Housing have agreed to invest a minimum of £90,000 in an innovative new apprenticeships project. The new Saffron Apprenticeship Programme will enable 20 local businesses to take on their first apprentice next year.
Saffron will recruit and employ up to 20 apprentices and ‘contract out’ the apprentices to local businesses, while providing full HR support and training throughout the length of the apprenticeship.  Local businesses will have an apprentice working with them four days a week with the remaining day spent off-site studying.
Saffron aims to reduce the risks for local employers by taking away the administrative burden when employing apprentices. 
The programme is a partnership between Saffron Housing Trust, Broadland Council Training Services (BCTS), Diss High School and Author and Social Entrepreneur Robert Ashton.
Stuart Tinkler, Assistant Director at Saffron Housing said, “We employ apprentices ourselves and know how important it is to grow tomorrow’s workforce, but we also know how daunting it can be for local businesses to take on their first apprentice.
“We’ll reduce the workload for local businesses by making it simple and straightforward for them to have an apprentice.  The businesses will only pay for the time the apprentices are working with them.”
Norfolk based Robert Ashton will work with Saffron to finalise the programme details as well as recruit and support the participating businesses.  Robert brings to the partnership a wealth of experience having helped develop ‘Enterprise Apprenticeships’ with SFEDI, the UK Sector Skills Body for Enterprise, which he hopes will be appealing to young people in South Norfolk. 
Robert Ashton said “This apprenticeship will provide a fantastic framework for a young person to learn new skills whilst helping to grow the business; the apprentices can give an immediate return on investment as well as literally growing their own jobs for the future.
Saffron already partners BCTS as part of their existing apprenticeship programme and last month Saffron Housing trainee apprentices Tom Cuthbert and Nick Reeder were jointly named Apprentice of the Year at the Council Training Services awards.
Sharon Money, BCTS Centre Manager said “This exciting project brings together a range of delivery partners from across the educational sector and offers young people in a rural part of the county the opportunity for employment and recognisable work based qualifications without having to travel miles to attain both.”

Saffron will be launching the new apprenticeship programme at Diss High School at the end of October to current Year 11 students.
‘We already have a pretty good idea which students will be best suited for this programme” said Dr Jan Hunt, Head Teacher at Diss High School.
“By getting businesses and Saffron involved now, we can make sure that everyone has the chance to get to know each other and explore the options at a comfortable pace. That way the right student will start the right apprenticeship with the right business for them.”
If you run a local business in South Norfolk and would like more information on the apprenticeship programme, please contact John Whitelock, Saffron Director of New Business on 01508 532046 or email him at

Further details are also available in the careers section at


Notes to editors:

Saffron Housing Trust has over 4800 homes in Norfolk and the surrounding area and has been involved in several schemes building local homes for local people.

Saffron started trading in 2004 following the transfer of houses from South Norfolk Council and during the financial year 2011/12 had a Turnover of £22.7m.

Saffron is an organisation that:
• Maintains and builds quality affordable homes
• Provides the optimum level of quality services
• Ensures customer are involved in improving Saffron
• Cares about and works with local communities
• Is prepared to find and implement innovative solutions
• People want to work for
• Was awarded Moody’s AA3 rating in 2012

If you wish for further information please either contact:

Saffron Housing, Stuart Tinkler, 01508 532013

Broadland Council Training Services, Sharon Money 01603 788 950

Diss High School, Dr Jan Hunt, 01379 642 424

Robert Ashton 01953 605000

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