We are currently advertising a vacancy for an apprentice in Business and Administration with Marketing and social media modules attached. Having won the Newcomer Employer of the Year award this year, we continue working alongside Damar Training they asked us to complete a case study to promote the vacancy:-
Brief overview of Stuarts Property Services
Established in 1908, Stuarts is a family-run business employing seven staff. We are a letting agent concentrating 100% on lettings and property management. We are based in Cheadle, Stockport but manage properties all over South Manchester. We are a friendly and professional company with a great reputation to uphold in the industry..
What led you to recruit apprentices from Damar?
We attended a seminar that FSB had arranged with Stockport Apprentices to open our minds as to employ apprentices. As apprentices ourselves (YTS in those days!) we decided that as employers we would like to give back to the young adults and hopefully give them a good start in their working life. Damar apprentices were present at this seminar and they highly rated Damar. Being a small business, word of mouth is important to us and this is why we decided to sign up with Damar.
How have your apprentices progressed in their roles and how Stuarts benefited from their performance?
We were astonished at how our first two apprentices developed within just one year of working with us. On arrival they were very shy and inexperienced with all aspects of an office life, but after their first year, they were confident and efficient at dealing with the majority of aspects of our business from property issues such as water leaks, to arranging viewings and dealing with new clients. It was a pleasure to see such development in such a small timescale but we believe in giving full training and support to all staff and this bears fruition for all involved.
How has the qualification and training delivery been of benefit to the apprentices in their roles and how has this impacted on your business?
Both apprentices achieved their level 2 Business and Admin qualification within expected timescales which gives them an additional qualification to submit on their CVs. The training aspect of the apprenticeship was easy for them to qualify as we gave them such a variety of tasks to perform within their job that they found the evidencing extremely satisfactory. We allow a two-hour slot in the working week (subject to workload) so that the apprentices can achieve their training modules within the working week rather than at home after a full day at work.
What future plans do you have for the apprentices and how do you feel the training may support their future development?
Ideally we are looking for an apprentice to stay within the company and develop their competence within the industry. Giving them opportunities that a large company may not be able to allow due to training restrictions, we are not held back with logistics of this and always encourage development and evolving the role to enhance it.
What advice would you give to other employers thinking about taking on an apprentice?
Do it – I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality and enthusiasm of having apprentices. I was concerned about the level of involvement of the actual qualification training alongside Damar and how often it would take me away from my usual day to day business, but it was completely un-necessary worry. Damar fitted in with the business to suit us and were always accommodating if we were short-staffed or exceptionally busy. I felt that I had given back too; having been an apprentice myself at 16 I still reflect on my time there and know that my employers then have had a direct impact on me being able to run my own business today. I believe there are many ‘diamond’ apprentices out there now and have been lucky enough to find three already.
What in particular has stood out as being ‘exceptional’ about your apprentices or ‘added real value’ to the team/firm?
What has been really lovely is the dynamics of the office change with such young adults in the mix, they have brought liveliness and their enthusiasm to learn inspires other members of staff to evolve and get more involved.
If you are looking for an apprenticeship that gives you hands on experience with full support, then contact either Damar Training on 0161 480 8171 or Clare Hayes at Stuarts Property Services on 0161 491 1411