As apprenticeships gain momentum across many business sectors, PrintIT Reseller asks this month’s panel for insight into take-up within the channel
PITR: Do you currently employ apprentices or do you intend to in the near future?
Scott Walker, Head of Business Development for MPS, ZenOffice:
“Yes. We have literally just brought a new apprentice on board this September.”
Mark Smyth, Operations Director, Vision:
“Vision has been participating in apprenticeship schemes for some years. We’ve had tremendous success in our client services centre, field service, technical help desk, finance and logistics. In most cases, we go on to offer full time employment, resulting in some excellent additions to the team!”
Colin Griffin, Managing Director, Blackbox Solutions:
“We have employed one apprentice, who spent 18 months training to become a technician with our engineering department. He has since completed his apprenticeship but unfortunately he then decided to pursue career options outside of the sector, which was a great shame as we would certainly have kept him on.
“We don’t have any immediate plans to replace him as we are currently focussed on growing the business into several new sectors and training our existing staff members, but it’s not something we’ve ruled out in the longer term.”
Aimee Timmins, Financial Director, Sharples Group:
“We have recently enquired about taking on an apprentice and are in the process of interviewing candidates. Recruiting people that have particular skills needed to help move a business forward can be demanding. If we can find someone with enthusiasm and talent we can train them up for a specific role.”
Julian Stafford, Managing Director, Midshire Business Systems Northern Ltd: Ltd:
“The Midshire Group currently employs a number of apprentices, working across sites including Stockport, West Bromwich and Sheffield. The number of apprentices employed is expected to increase as the business continues to grow.
“We have a strong apprentice programme and have been continually recruiting and training apprentices since 2011. Since that time, the Stockport office has employed eleven across areas such as business administration, IT and warehouse operations and is still looking to add to this number.
“Six of those apprentices have now completed their apprenticeships and are working full-time within the company. These youngsters have quickly progressed to administration executives, network and training specialists and even engineer roles.
“In December 2015, our Stockport office was awarded a Silver Working with Young People Award by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. The award recognises employers that have assisted with both the training and education of young people between the age of 14 and 19 in Stockport.
“To receive the award, employers must undertake internal activities such as employing apprentices and offering work experience placements, and external activities including hosting workshops, lessons or mock interviews with schools or colleges.”
Chris Roll, Managing Director, RDT Office Solutions Group:
“RDT has had an active policy to recruit apprentices in place for more than ten years. We are a firm believer in giving back to the local community, and providing employment opportunities is part of that commitment. Today, there are many exceptional schemes in place that support businesses employing through apprenticeships and if you have the infrastructure and means to mentor staff, apprentices provide an excellent source of talent that can be nurtured to grow within the business.”
“Danwood absolutely supports apprenticeships and has been doing so for the past few years, we have seen it work very well for our business.
“In 2015, we took on ten service apprentices who completed and attained their Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) IT Support and Helpdesk. Each one was then offered a permanent contract to become a trainee within the service area. We currently have three apprentices completing Level 3 and one completing Level 4, they will complete their training in October this year.
“We are very pleased to announce that In October we will have another seven apprentices start with the business completing their Level 3.”