The Apprentice Recruiter Scheme

As Lord Sugar’s hunt for an Apprentice draws to a close, recruitment firms look to tap into the benefits of a new Apprentice Recruiter Scheme, launched last month

Prospectus IT Recruitment’s Managing Director Elkie Holland took a few moments to tell me about the exciting new apprenticeship scheme that was launched last month and why it is the perfect solution to help her company grow:

By Elkie Holland

Prospectus IT Recruitment is a niche boutique agency specialising in the IT market. We have been operating in the IT sector for over 20 years and pride ourselves on our integrity and our straight-talking approach.  The last two years have undoubtedly been challenging for the recruitment industry but in the last 6 months we are really beginning to see an upturn in the IT recruitment market and it is picking up with increasing rapidity.

In response to this new growth we have been looking to expand our team, and I came across the opportunity to take on an apprentice, with an apprentice training scheme that was specifically targeted at the recruitment industry.  On a personal level, I have always been very interested in ensuring that candidates with limited or no experience are given support to find ways of entering the marketplace – after all everyone has to start somewhere!   Over the years we have taken on apprentices in other areas of the business, but until now there hasn’t been a tailored scheme or a structured framework that would have enabled us to take on an apprentice recruiter.

The training and support for the newly launched recruitment apprenticeship scheme that we’re participating in, is provided by Expedient Training Consultancy and it’s the first time a package like this has been put together specifically for our industry.  I think it provides candidates and recruitment businesses with a fantastic opportunity that’s long-overdue in this sector.  The apprentice recruiters will gain 4 industry recognised qualifications during the 12 month training programme, including the REC’s Certificate in Recruitment Practice, so it really does provide a structured learning path which sets them up to build a solid career in recruitment.  The training includes a mixture of both traditional and modern recruiting techniques, including a focus on the latest social media opportunities which is invaluable, and it teaches the apprentice about the ethics and standards, the technologies available to them as a recruiter, the people skills, negotiation skills, sourcing methods and so on.

I think a key benefit of the scheme for us is that when you take on a new consultant, there is immediately a pressure for them to perform and deliver return on investment, and this can sometimes be counter-productive particularly if the recruit is relatively inexperienced and still finding their feet.  With the apprenticeship scheme both parties are signing up to the idea of a structured training programme, and you can really spend some time ensuring that the apprentice is building a full tool-box of techniques that will help them perform, whilst also not only developing best practice but also learning about how we do things here and fitting in with our approach rather than picking up bad habits or questionable ethics in desperation to bring in results.  Initially the base apprenticeship salary is lower than a consultant’s salary which, alongside the structured nature of the programme, also helps take the pressure off the candidate and off the business.  But the apprentice still has the opportunity to earn good money quickly, through good performance and they are motivated and more loyal because they recognise that we are investing in their future.

Expedient have secured funding from the government to provide 150 fully funded apprenticeship schemes to recruitment companies like ours, with opportunities in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Nottingham. We just thought it was too good an opportunity to pass up – the funded recruitment training itself is worth over £6000.  For our apprentice, we are looking for a conscientious, enthusiastic person with good attention to detail and a naturally inquisitive approach.  They will be eager to learn and will be able to demonstrate commitment and initiative through their education or hobbies.  We offer a highly personalised service and pride ourselves on our responsiveness so they would also need to be a real people-person and have good “talkability” skills, as I like to call it.  We have fun here and we ensure that  we “tell it like it is.”  You can’t get better training than joining a specialised agency like ours, learning from the ground up and becoming an industry specialist.  It’s a tremendous opportunity for a newbie to the industry and we’re really proud to be able to offer it.

For further information or to participate in the Apprenticeship Scheme:

If you have been looking to expand your team and are interested in taking on an Apprentice Recruiter to help your business grow, please visit www.recruitment-apprenticeship.co.uk or contact Paul Deen on 0800 612 5402 email paul.deen@expedient-training.org.uk

Alternatively, if you or you think you know someone who has what it takes to be our Apprentice, please get in touch, Elkie Holland of Prospectus IT Recruitment on 01932 269563 or  email elkie@prospectus.co.uk