If you own or manage an SME and are thinking about how to develop your existing team or grow your business in 2019, here is a great example of how apprenticeships work as part of a long-term business strategy.
We spoke to Marc Rees, Director of Lang, Town & Country, who explained just how important apprenticeships are for the company.
“I have worked for Lang, Town & Country for over 35 years and employing apprentices has been incredibly beneficial for the company. Aside from being a financially viable option, finding the right person can offer loyalty, malleability and adaptability. It is also extremely rewarding to watch a young person grow, gain confidence and often, go on to progress within the company.”
Marc started his career completing a 2-year apprenticeship in Estate Agency and has worked his way up to Director Level.
“I have experienced studying and gaining my qualifications through an apprenticeship and I understand the structure and hard work required to be successful and become an integral part of the team – everyone needs to start somewhere and I think the apprenticeship route can help young people get straight into what they love doing.
I think the interview process is vital to ensure you find the best possible candidate, they don’t need to have the best grades but if they have personality, confidence and the desire to learn, the rewards for the business and individual can be great.
We have had several apprentices who are still with us years later as permanent members of staff, who are now fully qualified Administrators and Estate Agents and are integral to the continued success of our company. Seeing a person develop and be satisfied with their chosen career makes us very proud.”
I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!
I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!
Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up
The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.
I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!