Why Brabners employ apprentices
Nicola Thomas, HR Director at law firm Brabners comments:
We became increasingly concerned at the availability of good quality legal secretaries and administrators available on the market so we took a decision to organically grow our own through the government apprenticeship programme. It gave us a pipeline of fresh recruits available to the business for the future and enabled us to shape and mould those apprentices into precisely what the business needed.
It also fitted well with our social responsibility values in supporting young people in the community by unlocking the potential of apprentices, helping them to become ‘work ready’ and preparing them for their future careers.
We offer apprentices just over 50% higher rate of pay than the apprenticeship national minimum wage to reflect the contribution that we believe they make to our business. They also enjoy the same benefits and socials as their colleagues within Brabners.
The apprentices have the advantage of being able to learn both on the job and within the Chamber training environment and we have found that during the 12 month apprenticeship period, apprentices make a valuable and tangible contribution to the business.
The Recruitment Process
The recruitment process was extremely streamlined. We produced a job specification which was advertised by the Chamber and from there, candidates were submitted to us for consideration for interview. The standard of candidates that we received was outstanding and we struggled to shortlist from a really strong set of applicants. From then, we interviewed candidates, shortlisted for offer and then start dates were agreed from offer acceptance point.
All in all, it was an efficient and streamlined process with support from the Chamber throughout.
Our experience is that the apprentices we have recruited are highly motivated, enthusiastic and keen to learn and have really refreshed the dynamics in some of the teams they have worked with. They are full of energy and have strong technology skills already in place which come from using computers and tools such as social media from an early age. These skills and knowledge help to build competitive advantage for future development of the business.
Apprentices fill a variety of roles here, in Business Development & Marketing, Finance, Legal Secretarial, Legal Administration and Business Support.
Employers should ensure that there is an adequate supervision and support structure in place, allow sufficient time to attend college, and provide ongoing and relevant training.
Investment in a good apprenticeship programme can pay dividends in respect of engagement, retention, motivation, productivity, improved efficiency and overall financial returns for the business.
Overall, engaging in the apprenticeship scheme has been extremely rewarding for Brabners, giving us the opportunity to train people to meet the demands of the business and offer meaningful opportunities to young people trying to get into the industry.
Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton is a charity dedicated to protecting and promoting the wellbeing of people aged 50+. Established in 1928, they provide a range of direct services which make life better for local older people including advice, care and support, exercise and companionship.
Keen to grow their workforce and support local talent, Age Concern have provided five apprenticeships over two years and two full time jobs for apprentices following their qualifications. An integral part of their workforce, each apprentice has contributed fresh ideas, energy and a willingness
"Age Concern Liverpool and Sefton have worked with Liverpool Chamber Training in connection with the apprenticeship programme in order to sustainably grow our workforce with talented, local young people. Since March 2013, they have consistently sourced high calibre candidates having understood our individual recruitment needs to an excellent standard which in turn made the process as simple and business friendly as possible. An outstanding service.” Elaine Middleton, HR Manager - Age Concern Liverpool and Sefton
In April last year, Age Concern were recognised for their ongoing commitment to learning at a Young Achievers Ceremony led by the David Lewis Association.
"We take the scheme very seriously and have received great support from the Chamber," she said.