'Why I choose apprentices to bring new talent to the business' by George Dee

I am the Apprentice Recruitment Manager at Lifetime Training and have been with the business for 6 years. Our Apprentice Recruitment department supports employers to recruit

new talent into their business all around the UK. We offer a full 360 recruitment service, and in the past 12 months have supported over 4500 candidates secure apprenticeship opportunities across the Care, Retail, Fitness and Hospitality sectors.

I am a huge advocate of an apprenticeship being a successful route into a rewarding career. I have overseen the recruitment, internal training, development and promotion of 30 apprentices within Lifetime Training, and I am thrilled to say that all of them are still with the business.

If you read any article about the positives of recruiting an apprentice, they will all mention similar business benefits; improved staff morale, increased productivity, improving the motivation and skills in the workforce, and a cost effective way to recruit. 

The Summer of 2016 was our most recent cohort of apprentices. Five seventeen year olds were selected to join the department via our recruitment process. One joined the administration team and the other four in a Sales support capacity. After completing our online application form, a telephone interview, a face to face interview and an OJE (on the job experience) morning, they were all offered a year contract and introduced to their individual teams. We always sit the new apprentices between a team leader and a senior member of the team to ensure they are fully supported.

While the apprentice receives the best training and support, this also offers a development opportunity for other members of the team to act as a mentor for future talent.

We gradually develop our apprentices throughout the year, setting them mini projects and targets on a six week to three month basis. As their confidence and skills improve, we increase their workload and responsibility until they have a full caseload.

Every Friday morning is reserved for any work they must complete as part of their qualification. This time can be allocated to E-learning, additional training or work shadowing, and gives the mentor an opportunity to feedback appropriately. 

In summary, the apprenticeship route will remain an important channel for new talent into the business. Although the planning and support initially required is time intensive, the benefits to the business and the opportunity it provides a young person to develop far outweighs the work!

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