Not that long ago, apprenticeships were mainly associated with the manufacturing sector. However, this is rapidly changing as more young people and employers become aware of the benefits that training on the job can deliver. Apprenticeships are being embraced by a growing number of business sectors and a wide variety of professions can now be entered through this route. But in sectors where the concept is still relatively new, managers encounter additional challenges when it comes to the selection, training and development of their apprentices, according to an article on the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) website.
Among the sectors relatively new to apprentice recruitment are finance, health and the creative sector. Four executives from these sectors shared their thoughts and experience with Alison Coleman, the author of the ILM article. According to Mike Thompson, head of Barclays RBB’s employability programmes, apprentices in this industry need to be managed differently from other recruits. They need to go through a transitional period during which they learn things such as workplace etiquette, dress code and timekeeping. Apprentice selection also calls for a different approach and Barclays has tweaked its interview process to make sure that it secures the right candidates.
Commenting on behalf of health recruiters was Tony Moss, managing director of healthcare staffing agency Your World Recruitment. He noted that the pre-assessment stage was perhaps the most important one. In the health sector it is crucial to have apprentices with a passion for the job and a true understanding of the environment.
Stephen Smyth, spokesman for ATG Training noted the increased demand from employers for the pre-assessment and short listing service the training provider delivers. ‘This saves companies valuable production time whilst ensure good quality candidates get to the final interview stage’.
Matthew Kynaston, who is in charge of marketing at digital agency Cyber-Duck, offered a look at things from the creatives’ perspective. According to him, apprentices in the sector should be entrusted with the management of a project, allowing bosses to determine the strengths and weaknesses of their trainees.