This week the world celebrates the 14th National Apprenticeship Week. This annual celebration of apprenticeships will bring the whole apprenticeship community together to celebrate the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy.
National Apprenticeship Week 2021 offers us a great opportunity to shine a light on just how amazing our apprentices are doing whilst also recognising the team around our apprentices who selflessly offer their support, guidance and time to helping others achieve their goals.
Today, we’ve taken the opportunity to speak to Rob Sims, Elite Group’s CEO and Swati Sethi, Elite Group’s Talent Acquisition Leader, spotlighting Elite Group’s apprenticeship scheme and the value it brings to our organisation.
“We are committed as a business to our Apprenticeships Scheme. As Elite Group is a progressive, forward-looking company, we are convinced of its demonstrable benefits.
“The symbiotic nature of the value it brings in supporting both the individual and the organisation is quite unique. Also, the immeasurable business benefit it adds in terms of attracting the talent we need to keep our organisation fresh and current, expanding and strengthening our team’s skills-set whilst minimising the risk to the business.
“We must not forget the other tangible benefits of our Apprenticeship Scheme and how the individuals within it contribute to the wider community as a whole. This forms part of our overall CSR strategy whereby Elite Group continues to make a positive contribution to the people and the communities in which our business operates.”
We started the Apprenticeship Scheme here at Elite Group in2017 and it has proved extremely successful. In the launch phase, we recruited our Apprentices mainly into the Finance Department and concentrated on facilitating paid training and qualifications in that area. This worked so well that we decided to develop and branch out to create the broader Apprenticeship Scheme we have today, covering all areas of the business.
So far, we have welcomed three Apprentices into the organisation. Generally, they are on two-year courses due to the complexity of our roles here at Elite Group.
In terms of qualifications achieved so far by our Apprentices, we can boast Infrastructure Technician Level 3 and Level 3 Unified Communications Technician, both of which are two-year courses.
The departments and teams which our Apprentices have been placed in so far include Finance, IT Projects/Networking and Engineering and First Contact. We tend to move our Apprentices around the business so that they get a real flavour of Elite Group as a whole, experience each department within their first weeks, understand the business solutions we create for our clients, from point of engagement to our crucial and ongoing customer care – no matter what level their qualification.
We carefully select the departments in which we place our apprentices so that we’re sure we can dedicate the time, support and resources to them that they deserve and give them what they require to be expertly trained and to reach their full potential.
We use a combination of study programmes with on-the-job training. I am proud of the fact that we have sourced the best accredited colleges and private companies for the academic element of our Apprenticeship training and are able to provide bespoke learning packages for each individual, depending on their skills and career aspirations.
I am delighted to say that we have retained all three of our Apprentices within the business. The technical knowledge and on-the-job training they receive is invaluable as it sets them up for numerous career paths within Elite Group.
The value of the Apprenticeship Scheme to the individual is that they can learn and work at the same time. The old adage of ‘they are earning whilst they’re learning’ definitely applies to our Apprentices! Elite Group benefits immensely too, as the people we attract strengthen our pool of talent and help us grow and improve our business as a whole.
We are planning to expand our Apprenticeships Scheme going forward as we value investing in the next generation of our team of employees. It is so exciting to be involved as it all forms part of our future planning strategy, strengthening and expanding the business and upskilling our people.
It is important to add that we offer opportunities to employees and new-recruits from all age groups, as we operate an open and fair recruitment process. Our Apprenticeship Scheme really complements Elite Group’s culture, ethos and values. We foster a caring environment and we are an inclusive employer which values diversity and every range of skills.
In summary – it is easy for us at Elite to see the true value of Apprenticeships – the technology industry is crowded, competitive and ever-changing. Recruiting can be a minefield, while hiring Apprentices allows us to grow our own talent and train employees in our own unique products and services giving them world-class business knowledge whilst enhancing our diversity and fostering innovation.
We are able to give employees on-the-job training, upskill our current team members who are equally valued and help everyone work towards recognised qualifications. As a company we can really contribute to their personal and professional growth further and further. All of this is yet more evidence of the fact that Elite Group is a great place to work!
There has never been a better or more exciting time to consider apprenticeships, and we would urge every employer to leave behind any preconceptions they might have on apprenticeship schemes – and take a fresh look.