TBI Law tell us why Apprentices have benefited their business.
Richard Hampshire from Comcen Computer Supplies describes his experience of employing Apprentices through Key Training.
To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) the team at independent agency Destination will be championing their new apprentice, Nicole Etherington, across the agency’s social media platforms.
It’s an apt way to introduce 18-year old Etherington to clients, as since starting in December she has already had an impact on the Yorkshire-based agency’s online presence.
Etherington impressed Destination’s team after being tasked with creating a poster and images for the agency’s holiday show in February, which was used on Twitter, Facebook, e-shots and leaflets.
Director Shevaun Joy explains: “She’s very creative at making posters on Microsoft Publisher. She’s also shown us several things we didn’t know how to do on social media.”
Initially she created window offers and did filing, progressing quickly to taking enquiries and shadowing the team. Joy sets regular targets, and hopes Etherington will be making bookings later this month.
Having completed a 13-week introductory period, Etherington has now been taken on for 12 months. “This isn’t just a stop-gap for a year, we hope she will stay with us permanently,” Joy adds.
Training is a key part of an apprenticeship, and Etherington spends six hours a week on e-learning and has regular visits from a tutor, which will result in a Customer Service NVQ Level 2.
Joy opted for an apprentice as a cost-effective solution as the agency’s team became busier. Apprentices are paid at least the minimum wage, and as a small business Destination was eligible for a £1,500 government grant. “That’s a real help,” Joy adds.
The agency used Key Training – the National Apprenticeship Provider recommended by the Advantage Travel Partnership – to organise recruitment and draw up a contract.
Prior to joining Destination, Etherington had completed a Travel and Tourism NVQ Level 2, but Joy explains: “We weren’t looking for someone with straight A grades, but someone with the right personality who was outgoing and not afraid to talk to clients, and who showed initiative. Apprentices are good value for employers, and have skills we can utilise.”
Please allow me to briefly introduce myself, my name is Dave Green and I am the joint Managing Director at Lightning Fire Ltd (LFL).
I am the main contact for Key Skills Training and am also Danielle's mentor at LFL.
I initially had telephone conversations with Laurie as we discussed the overall apprenticeship scheme and how it works prior to meeting her when she visited our offices. Laurie was friendly, helpful and informative over the 'phone and has continued to be so on a face to face basis.
Laurie has explained how the process works commencing with the induction period and then the various and subsequent "MOT procedure" which the NVQ process entails and involves. Laurie has also ascertained from me our thoughts and ideas for Danielle's development and learning on her most recent visit to the company. During this visit Laurie carefully and comprehensively outlined the review procedures, she recorded part of our conversations and discussions, she asked what training needs that she could help with and she emphasised the importance of Danielle completing her work on time, this was to be 2-3 days before the next visit.
Laurie also made sure that Danielle knows that she can call upon her for support and guidance whenever necessary in terms of any set assessments as well as on a more general basis.
Laurie outlined the program of visits, she helped us all understand that we are all here to help Danielle achieve and be successful and I understand that I can ask Laurie for any additional training in any specific areas that Danielle may need as the program moves forward.
Laurie asked what the company were going to do to support Danielle and I advised that we have committed to formulate an internal plan where she gets direct exposure to all facets of the business. On this point Danielle and myself have since agreed that we will initially give her a basic introduction into the various areas of a business as stage one of the plan before going into more detail about each area in stage two. (I have yet to advise Laurie of this decision).
To date I have found Laurie to be personable, knowledgeable and very helpful. I believe that she genuinely cares about Danielle and that she is committed to helping her make a success of her apprenticeship opportunities with LFL.
As a last point I would say that Laurie was genuinely very pleased to hear me unequivocally state that we want Danielle to build a career at LFL and that we will do all we can to help her during the apprenticeship stage and then beyond as she progresses within the business.
I trust that the above is sufficient for your needs but if further information and or clarification is required then please do contact me at your earliest convenience.
I can be contacted on any of the following:
Lightning Fire Safety Systems Ltd
Falcon Medical Group
I am an Admin Manager formally with Falcon Medical Group. At Falcon we employed 4 Admin Apprentices over approximately 3 years.
I found the recruitment process very good. We were telephoned with a short bio on the candidate. We then organised an interview date that fitted in with the Practice and once appointed Key did all of the background work for us. An excellent process.
Once an apprentice was in place the tutor made prompt contact and we were made to feel at ease contacting them if we had any issues. I did have some issues and brought them to the tutor’s attention and these were dealt with promptly and professionally.
During the course of the Apprenticeship as Admin Manager I was always involved in each stage of the course so that we could focus on key points to enable to apprentice to meet the needs of the course.
All in all I have only had positive involvement with Key Training.
Redhouse Medical Centre
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Peterlee Town Council
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NHS Employer Recognised For Providing Apprenticeship Opportunities
Key Training has recognised the training and work opportunities given to Apprentices by local Great Western Hospital.
Through working in partnership with Key Training, they have provided local young people the support needed to be successful in employment and get a step on the ladder to success.
Nicola Green, Training and Development Lead for the Wider Workforce, was presented with a commemorative plaque in Swindon on Thursday, 12th November 2015, by Jenny Hyam Business Development Manager from Key Training Limited.
Nicola said “We have been working with Key Training for many years on a range of Apprenticeship frameworks to support training and development in the workplace. As a large employer we very much embrace the concept of Apprenticeships and see them as stepping stones within a defined career pathway. Not only have they provided individuals with an accredited qualification but also given them more confidence in the workplace, improved life skills and increased their knowledge. All of our new apprentices have been employed permanently upon completion of a level 2 either within the Trust or other public sector services. We are committed to the growth of our workforce and will continue to use apprenticeships as our qualification of choice in many vocational areas. It was an honour to receive the recognition from Key Training for the opportunities given to apprentices at the Great Western Hospitals Foundation NHS Trusts.”
Lauren Turner and Jenny Fotheringham (Apprentices above) said
“I wouldn’t have been able to get my current job position without becoming an apprentice due to my age and lack of experience. My Apprenticeship gave me a gateway to many opportunities and I have gained invaluable skills that I wouldn’t have achieved at college. My employability has been boosted since with a further qualification and a promotion. I have a permanent contract and making plans for more development. I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone.” Lauren Turner.
‘My Apprenticeship has helped me so much to gain valuable experience and learn new skills. From this I am now employed full time by the Trust” Jenny Fotheringham
NHSBEN (NHS Birmingham East and North Primary Care Trust)
Key Training has been working with NHSBEN for five years during which time we have successfully delivered Train to Gain, Adult Apprenticeships, Commercial NVQ courses and implemented a cost effective recruitment solution for 16-18 years old Apprenticeship Programme.
Since 2008, Key Training has successfully filled over 60 vacancies, leading to 90 qualifications being undertaken by local young people.
This April, a large cohort of 25 learners have accepted positions throughout NHSBEN, in various departments.
During this partnership 295 adult qualifications have been undertaken in Customer Service, Business Administration, Team Leading, Management and Information, Advice and Guidance.
All qualifications have been in conjunction with the Learning and Workforce Development Team, and managed by Ricky Manton-Leigh, Deputy Director HR and Workforce Development (NHSBEN) and his team.
Apprenticeship Programme (16-18 vacancy matching, selection and recruitment)
Benefits of working with Key Training;
• Work in partnership towards NHS Skills Pledge
• Assisting NHS to achieve locally set Apprenticeship Targets.
• Training/Operational Needs Analysis conducted.
• Excellent understanding of your business’ needs.
• Access to Government Funding
• Potential Cost savings (based on Band 1, £9103 per annum per learner)
• Time savings for the business (short listing of candidates, arranging of interviews etc)
• Tailored Training Programmes to suit most departments
• Free advertising of vacancy through recruitment portals
• Direct access to constant stream of local Candidates
• Access to recent School Leavers
• Screened, suitable, driven and ambitious candidates
• Exceptionally high Achievement Rates, better than the National Average
• Identifying the Managers of the future
• Week Long induction delivered to the learners covering NHS Procedures, Health and Safety, Equality and Diversity, and Work Ethics
• Each successful candidate offered a 12 month fixed term contract
• Apprentices paid £100 a week (paid monthly)
• 7 hours a week study time allocated to complete NVQ work
• Assessment undertaken by Key Training in the work place, every 6-8 weeks
• Numeracy and Literacy qualifications (where applicable)
• A representative of Key Training on site for 1 day a week
• Online Programme Management (less disruption)
• 12 week reviews with leaner, Manager and Key Training to discuss progress
Awards for Our Programmes
The joint venture between Key Training and NHSBEN has lead to number of awards and achievements:
• HIGHLY COMMENDED LARGE EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR at 2010 Regional Awards by the National Apprenticeship Service.
• Winner of HSJ 2010 Award for Workforce Development, Sponsored by Skills for Health, for their Apprenticeship Scheme. Direct quote below;
The Scheme has enabled 117 people to achieve their Apprenticeship Qualification. So far, 73% of Apprentices have gained permanent employment in the Trust or Local Health Economy. Retention of Apprentices, who get permanent jobs, stands at an unprecedented 96%.
The judges said: “This scheme is OUTSTANDING in the way it reaches out to the local population to attract, develop and maintain a workforce for the future”
There is also an article commending the NHSBEN programme in a recent edition of the Health Service Journal. (Newsletter January 2011),
What NHSBEN say about our working relationship;
“Key Training has given us access to fantastic candidates from the local area. It’s really satisfying to give these young people an opportunity, and even more so when you consider how many have been retained within the Organisation. They fully understand our business needs and work very closely with us to achieve the ongoing commitment to our Skills Pledge.
All of our requirements are dealt with via a friendly, flexible and professional approach, in a timely cost effective manner.
Key Training continues to demonstrate their clear understanding of the development of our workforce and our future goals and aspirations”
Ricky Manton- Leigh, Deputy Director HR and Workforce Development (NHSBEN)
Impact of apprenticeship recruitment for your business and department:
FIS did not have need to hire apprentices, but more of a need to give young talented individuals the opportunity to build a career within a global organisation. The overall impact has been positive in that all four apprentices we have recruited so far have made a valuable contribution. Whilst one apprentice has left our employment, another apprentice is now a permanent full time employee earning an experienced call centre agents salary.
The remaining two agents are in their first year and progressing well.
Training and development benefits to apprentice and the business
The apprentices are able to learn valuable workplace skills in delivering excellent customer service and as young people develop their work ethic skills. Combining the two will help them in the future to develop rewarding careers.
As a business we are able to mould them into the FIS working practices and culture.
The overall Service you have received from key training to date
Overall the service received from all business areas i.e. Sales and training has exceeded expectation. The people I have met such as Joy, Selma, Leanne and Sarah are totally committed and dedicated in delivering a positive 360 experience to both employer and apprentice.
We approached three providers with Key being our preferred supplier.
Why you chose apprenticeship recruitment to meet you recruitment needs
By recruiting apprentices we are fulfilling our passion to provide opportunity to young dedicated people and helping to shape our business. Our organisation in the future will rely on young fresh talent to continue to serve our clients and expand on the success we achieve today.
How we helped a young Apprentice with Aspergers’s Syndrome to achieve their Level 2 IT Qualification enabling his progress to work at the BBC - watch video below:
We have been using the services of Key Training to recruit talented young workers through an apprenticeship placement scheme. This has proved to be an incredibly successful partnership with many of the workers now placed with us full time.
From the start we have dealt with a dedicated account manager who took the time to meet with us and to understand our company culture and needs.
The quality of the candidates has been consistently high as has the service that we have received from Key Training..
A growing relationship that continues to go from strength to strength.
Managing Director – Abacus Employment Services Ltd
.I was extremely impressed with the level of service I have received from the team in Windsor. I knew what apprenticeships were, but I was unaware of the benefits to my business. The team at Windsor explained everything to me in depth and listened to my requirements to help me take on two apprentices in the space of 2 months. I would recommend Key Training and the idea of apprenticeships, as I truly believe that offering a young person an opportunity will enable me to grow an efficient team for the future.
Birmingham-based Skillsfirst Awards, an awarding organisation that develops qualifications and apprenticeships, has put its knowledge into practice with the appointment of its very own apprentice - Emily Adkins.
The business, which has been running for nearly three years, needed to expand the team and, knowing the benefits apprentices can bring, decided to take on 18 year-old Emily. Skillsfirst Awards worked with the Birmingham office of national training provider Key Training to recruit Emily, and Key Training will continue to be responsible for her learning.
Emily, who is from Sutton Coldfield, will be studying an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Business Administration, gaining a nationally recognised qualification while working. The qualification, which has been designed by Skillsfirst Awards specifically for those who want to learn general office skills, includes a wide range of modules including data management and preparing business reports. This supports her day-to-day activities at Skillsfirst Awards such as dealing with customer queries, organising and dispatching certificates and maintaining internal company databases.
After finishing school and then completing a college course in travel and tourism, Emily worked in a local pub but wanted to find a career path that suited her interests more and offered long-term progression. After applying for various roles, but finding that she needed experience, Emily decided an apprenticeship would offer the best opportunity to get both paid work and a further relevant qualification.
We are a small company with 10 employees who did not consider ourselves large enough to fit the criteria or benefit from the Apprenticeship Scheme.
The Recruitment Consultant Jade Swanson from Key Training was excellent in giving us advice and guidance right through the process, from paperwork right to the appointment of our apprentice.
Lauren joined us in June and has already made a great contribution to our Business Administration; she is bright, keen to learn and has integrated with the rest of our Team. We have also encouraged her to continue her NVQ Level 2 and her tutor has worked with us so that we can contribute experience to Lauren for her future career from first-hand experience of life in a busy office.
We would have no hesitation in recommending this company and the process to anyone considering expanding their business – first rate all round.
After initially meeting Key Training at a TEAM event I was instantly interested in the scheme. After initial conversations both over the phone and face to face they started working on a vacancy for us. Having never had an apprentice previously I was a little apprehensive about the process and the level which the employees would come in at. Within the following week Key Training arranged four interviews with me – completely at my convenience.
I was instantly impressed with the level of candidates – two came in suited and booted and all were extremely professional and simply looking for an opportunity to gain new skills and experience. I gave honest feedback on my thoughts as I feel this is important for the candidates to learn.
After the first round of interviews I performed one second interview and offered the job on the spot.
We are delighted for the candidate to be starting today, on time and ready to get going. Key Training came in once again confirm the process we needed to go through and to sign some paperwork.
The entire process has been extremely easy, quick and having found one great candidate we are now going to be looking for another. Massive thank you to all at Key Training.
We recently used Key Training after we were approached to consider an apprentice as an addition to our Office Staff. The process was very easy and much less time consuming than we expected.
Our consultant Adam was able to vet and source the person most suited to us as a business and able to integrate into our team. The procedure was simple and objectives were clearly defined.
As an employer we were assisted with all aspects of the application and provided with suitable guidance. Our options were explained clearly by Adam who was available to answer all questions and smooth over any queries.
Interviews were arranged with ease and we are confident that we have chosen the right candidate. We have welcomed our new recruit and so far all is progressing very well.