Employing apprentices is a new thing for the recruitment sector and I know that many will be asking, why bother, why not just employ graduates? And if I do employ apprentices won’t they be a lot of hassle? I hope to dispel those worries.
It is a myth that all the best people go to university, with rising costs I know that many of my generation have taken a very conscious decision not to incur that sort of debt. Many of the most able and energetic young people are also impatient to get into the world of work. I know I was. I then decided that the career that I’d chosen, child-care, wasn’t for me, so I had to make a career change. At that stage, like most career changers, giving up my income was not an option. So by not employing apprentices, you’re missing out of some of the best talent.
Graduates come with certain income expectations; I’m sure you’re well aware of that! Apprentices know that we’re learning on the job, so our expectations are a lot lower, and you get to train us in your good habits and needs, so we are tailored made for you. For example, we have clients in Germany, so part of my apprenticeship is learning German. I love the hands-on work experience that the apprenticeship offers, the fact that I can get involved, rather learn from the side lines.
I chose a career in recruitment because I’m highly driven by targets and I love being able to help others find their dream job. I chose BPS primarily because of their “people first” culture. At my interview, I was present at the weekly meeting and saw the passion that the management team has for delivering a good service. The culture of the office is supportive, hardworking, active and most importantly happy, and that really appealed to me.
I was also really impressed with their Stars programme which offers training and education across all areas of the business. The programme develops people from apprentice level through to director level so there is great opportunity for progression. I can work towards industry specific qualifications and there is a wealth of opportunity for self-improvement. I access the training in a variety of ways including online tutorials from LinkedIn Learning platform and internal group training on more specific recruiting topics like “Writing a Job Ad” or “Twitter for Recruiting”. This learning is in addition to studying for my NVQ Level 3 in Recruitment Resourcing and learning German.
The first day can seem very daunting, but I suspect that is the same for all new recruits, whatever their background and even if, like me, you’ve been used to the most demanding of customers of all, pre-school children! However the structure of the apprenticeship learning programme has made it straightforward for my employer and me to get up to speed in no time at all. I was quickly hitting my targets and that was incredibly rewarding.
I really hope that apprenticeships catch on in the sector. There is lots of support for employers who do offer them and I know, from my own experience, how soon we contribute to the business goals. To find out more the Government offers some great advice.
About the author: Natalie Winterton started as an apprentice at global resourcing company BPS World two years ago. BPS was one of the first recruitment companies to offer apprenticeships in the sector. Last year they won REC apprentice of the year, and this year BPS have recommended Natalie for entry into the same category.