23rd November 2012

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by: designers-i

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Categories: Engage for Success Blog

Apprenticeships – Engaging the next Generation

Below, Grass Roots UK Ltd tells of the benefits of an apprenticeship programme to local school leavers.

Background

Developing young talent is rewarding for both trainee and organisation, especially when it’s part of a structured programme that incorporates further education.  And with university fees climbing while job opportunities are harder to come by, we wanted to offer a viable alternative for ambitious and enthusiastic young students.

Pilot programme

For the pilot programme in 2011, Grass Roots offered positions to A-level students from two local schools.  Four candidates were successful in their application, which included an intensive assessment centre process, and have all proved to be a real asset to the business.  So much so, that we were proud to invite them to come and speak at our Open Evening and school briefings for this year’s intake, where they did us proud!

“Our apprentice has already surpassed performance expectations! It’s abundantly clear that all the apprentices really want to grow their skills, to work hard and to deliver fantastic work. We assigned an experienced mentor to provide hands-on support and to ease our apprentice into his individual role and his role within the wider team.

“The Grass Roots apprentice programme is a fantastic opportunity for A-level leavers to begin their careers within a structured, caring and progressive environment. It’s also an exemplary way for Grass Roots to bring fresh talent into our business.”
Luke Brason, Head of Creative

Looking ahead

In 2012 we plan to take on six apprentices, and one-day assessment centres are already taking place, ready for the successful candidates to start work with Grass Roots in October.  We’re currently offering opportunities in our Creative Studio, Operations, Digital Marketing, Finance, Infrastructure and Technology teams.

“The Apprenticeship scheme gives school leavers a fabulous opportunity to see what Grass Roots is all about, especially within the Operations Centre as they will be able to experience all of our different departments during the two years that they are with us. This will give them a real insight into lots of different job roles so that they can gain hands on experience to help them decide which area they would like to really focus on for their future career.”
Nikki Bayliss, Head of Product Delivery

All apprentices are offered a salary which increases each year they are with the company, and – unlike many other programmes – the aim is for them to continue with the company as a permanent employee once their two years’ training is complete.

Apprentice Testimonials

“My time so far with Grass Roots has been very well spent – I have learnt a lot and I am continuing to do so. I am included in a wide variety of projects and I am enjoying it thoroughly. I’m very grateful for receiving this opportunity and I look forward to doing more at grass roots.”
Tim Ellson, Former Tring School Student Aged 19

“Everyone at Grass Roots has been so welcoming and I have learnt so much in the first few months of working. It is a great opportunity and whoever gets the chance to work for such a great company is very lucky. I have absolutely no regrets with my decision!”
Lizzie Wright, Former John Colet Student, Aged 19

“The Grass Roots apprenticeship is an excellent opportunity and I would recommend it to anyone thinking about alternatives to University. The chance to work as part of a team within such a successful company is an opportunity which is really rare having just finished A-Levels, or even after just finishing University! In the short time I’ve worked for Grass Roots I’ve already been over to the Grass Roots offices in Belfast, helped deliver work to big companies such as Asda and Barclays, and now feel at home within Grass Roots. I can safely say I have no regrets about choosing the Grass Roots apprenticeship scheme over going to University as I am now learning, gaining work experience, debt-free and being paid.”
Jordan Wells, Former John Colet, Aged 19

“I have worked at Grass roots since October 2011. While working in Digital Marketing & Loyalty I have been given great opportunities to work with high profile clients within the automotive and retail and finance sectors. Throughout my time on the apprentice scheme I have been supported by my colleagues and developed my skill widely within the role I perform on a daily basis, and I would highly recommend the apprenticeship scheme to anyone.”
Simon Johnson, Former John Colet Student, Aged 19

Grass Roots Apprentices’ YouTube soundbites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gwgcgd-Sg7Q