Karen Morris, group HR director on how we’re building a legacy one apprentice at a time
At a time when there are mixed opinions around how well apprenticeships work and the impact of the apprenticeship levy, we firmly believe that our apprentices are instrumental in helping us to build a legacy for nmcn.
Currently, 10.05% of our 1,800 strong workforce is participating in an apprenticeship at some level and this figure is set to rise to 12% when we bring our existing graduate scheme into the apprenticeship levy later this year.
We’re training tomorrow’s talent to be our future. For us apprenticeships aren’t a tick box exercise, they’re a central part of how we build and develop our team.
For new starters – whether they are traditional school leavers or those looking for a change in career later in life – we try to make the process as simple as possible. We recruit apprentices year round, not in set windows like many apprentice employers and we’re committed to paying our apprentices almost double the National Apprenticeship Wage to make our apprenticeship careers a viable and affordable alternative to traditional routes to employment.
We know that the recruitment processes can be restrictive and off-putting for many schemes so we’ve cut out much of that red tape. Talent comes in many forms so we don’t set qualification requirements for our apprentice applicants, instead we concentrate on recruiting individuals that reflect our organisational needs and our culture and then we can offer them the training they need in the best way for them.
Over the last five years more than 270 of our people have been enrolled in an apprenticeship scheme and in that time we have seen a noticeable shift in the attitudes towards apprentices within the business. There’s been a pull to push shift, previously, managers needed to be persuaded to take on apprentices, now those managers are driving the demand. They see the value and momentum that apprentices can bring.
Since the apprenticeship levy was introduced almost two years ago we’ve been able to use apprenticeships outside of the traditional entry levels. We’re now equipping our existing team with new skills in management and leadership with over 3% of our people enrolled on levels three or five apprenticeships.
The apprenticeship levy has enabled us to open up training opportunities across the business in areas that can directly impact on our business growth right now. So while we’re developing the talent of the future we’re also investing in the business today.
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