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SPARKS Blog: Apprenticeship Recruitment, are you getting it right?

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Dave Love MIET, Curriculum & Apprenticeship Manager at Warrington and Vale Royal College, discusses why electrical companies should consider full-time students when recruiting for apprenticeships.

With the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy and the new apprenticeship standards, it is becoming more apparent that recruitment of the right apprentice is paramount.

The new standards set high expectations (and…rightly so).

To pass an apprenticeship under the new standards, learners have to gain a Level 2 in maths and English, pass all technical certificates and complete their NVQ before sitting the End Point Assessment AM2S, previously known as AM2.

Employers often send employees to providers to undertake an apprenticeship programme that educators can see do not have the necessary prerequisites to be successful on the apprenticeship.

There is an expectation from employers that once they send their employee to a provider, they will automatically become an apprentice. However, this is not necessarily the case and is unfair to the employee, not to mention wasted valuable time, money and effort for the employer.

By contacting local colleges before starting the recruitment process, employers can save time and money. Colleges have an untapped recourse of ready-made students that are all eager to get an apprenticeship.

Colleges have full-time students studying to become electricians who have not yet had the opportunity to gain employment. These students have been working really hard from Level 1 up to Level 3.

Their previous work in college can reduce the time it takes for them to complete an apprenticeship. Colleges will assist employers with their recruitment, helping select the best candidates for them. Colleges are happy to arrange trials, allowing learners to have some time working with an employer during their studies, so both parties have an opportunity to get to know each other better.

Recently Warrington and Vale Royal College held a skills competition where employers were invited to see learners showcasing their skills. This allowed learners to do what they do best, while employers observed their skills, asked questions and got to know the students.

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Warrington and Vale Royal College held a skills competition where employers were invited to see learners showcasing their skills.

Employers responded positively to the event and noted how it was extremely helpful, saved them time and money and ensured they got a student that fulfilled all the criteria set out by the new standards.

So why risk employing someone who does not have any industry knowledge and may not have the qualifications or ability to complete an apprenticeship, when you can have ready-made employees from your local college?

Recruitment is one of the hardest, costly and time-consuming aspects of running a business, regardless of the size of your company. Don’t waste all this time and effort and contact your local college.

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