TCi has operated a very successful apprenticeship scheme for many years, gaining many long-term employees in the process.
HR Manager, Lauryn Deacon explains some of the ways in which apprenticeships help new employees to develop within the company and provide vital skills to the business.
Apprentices are an asset to TCi and bring significant benefits to the company, the individuals and the wider economy. We have been very fortunate to have had a lot of success from the apprenticeship scheme and strive to continue this success throughout the growth of the company. As a member of the 5% club, we have made a commitment to ensure at least 5% of our workforce are in earn and learn positions such as apprenticeships. In reality, we are achieving a figure of around 20% which is a great indicator of the success of this type of commitment.
Some of our success stories include:
- Business Administration to Technical Services Assistant
- Business Administration to HR & Office Manager
- Built Environment to Project Director
Our apprentices have regularly won awards, both locally and nationally. TCi was also announced as Apprentice Employer of the Year at the 2019 North Devon Business, Leisure & Tourism Awards.
To ensure the success of any apprenticeship, it is very important that there is a process in place, starting from the recruitment stage right through to the end of the apprenticeship, and all parties need to be fully committed to this. Below are some points we consider when recruiting an apprentice:
Is an apprenticeship the right option?
As an employer providing an apprenticeship, many factors need to be taken into consideration such as.
- Is there enough workload for the apprentice?
- Is there an apprenticeship standard that suits the job description?
- Will there be progression opportunities?
- Is there capacity for the team to provide full support and training to the apprentice?
It is important to speak with local training providers and get an idea of the expectations to ensure that the apprentice undertakes real, productive work that gives them opportunities to access and evidence the knowledge and skills required to meet the standard.
Recruiting talent suitable for the vacancy
There are many ways to generate interest from potential candidates, it is vital that the vacancy is advertised on many different platforms (Company website, Company social media, Professional networking sites, Commercial Job Boards, Local Training Provider etc.) All candidates should then be assessed objectively against the selection criteria set out in the Job Description, and job interviews can be set up.
When interviewing an apprentice, it is very important to take into consideration that they may have little or no work experience and therefore we try to avoid closed questions, and instead use the interview as an opportunity to get to know the candidate and their future career aspirations.
Mentoring and training
Apprentices will need a lot of support and training from their Line Manager and the team they are working within, it is important to set up a timetable/structure to ensure they are able to meet expectation set by their employer and training provider:
- Allow the apprentice time to complete off-the-job training and assessments
- Take part in regular reviews with the apprentice to review progress, set SMART targets to achieve
- Liaise with the training provider often regarding assessments etc.
- Assign a “mentor” (preferably a previous apprentice) that they can discuss any queries with
The best outcome for both the apprentice and the employer is that there are opportunities past the point of the completed apprenticeship. It is important to discuss the “next steps” often, so the apprentice has something to aim for. Following the successful completion of the apprenticeship, you may want to consider a promotion, increased salary or the opportunity to specialise in their chosen area further.
The UK government website contains some excellent advice for apprentices and employers here: https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/employers
If you would like to find out more about apprenticeships at TCi, get in touch below or visit our vacancies page to find out about current opportunities. We regularly advertise on social media, so make sure you follow our linkedin, facebook and twitter profiles!