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Warrington firm in apprentice recruitment drive

Warrington firm in apprentice recruitment drive

A Warrington company is preparing to say “you’re hired” to a record number of trainees after launching its biggest ever apprentice recruitment drive.

The Optionis group is planning to take on at least 15 new recruits this year as it expands its successful apprenticeship scheme, which was launched in 2011.

The announcement comes ahead of the sixth annual National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 5th – 11th March and celebrates the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

Apprentices at Optionis, which employs more than 150 permanent staff members at its head office on Centre Park, work towards recognised academic qualifications and are allocated a mentor as part of the group’s & lsquo;buddy’ programme.

Trainees work with their line manager to develop a & lsquo;career map’ and are given clear targets and objectives, with the opportunity to secure a permanent contract once they have completed their apprenticeship.   

Derek Kelly, managing director at Optionis, believes the company’s apprenticeship scheme has been a huge success to date, and is looking forward to expanding it even further.

He said: “Of the apprentices we have taken on so far, all but one has been offered full-time employment.

“Unlike some so-called apprenticeship schemes, this is not about exploiting cheap labour.

“This is a genuine partnership with our apprentices, who bring energy, commitment and a willingness to learn. In return we offer training, knowledge and a permanent job on proper rates of pay at the end of the journey from apprentice to full-time team member.

Derek added: “Young people get a bad press but the apprentices who have joined us so far have displayed tremendous enthusiasm, creativity and dedication, and have been a credit to their generation.

“It’s no secret that the jobs market is tough at the moment, so we are pleased to be able offer these opportunities.

“We have 11 fantastic apprentices with us already, and I’m sure the new intake will be just as impressive. The practical experience they gain will set them apart from many of their peers, and give them an invaluable insight into working life.” 

The Optionis group is home to Parasol, the UK’s largest professional employment organisation (PEO), accountancy and HR services provider ClearSky and cloud-based performance management software Silverline.  Optionis also has offices in Poole and London.

Apprenticeship opportunities will be available across several departments including IT, accountancy, sales, marketing and payroll.

Group head of HR Helen Pedder said: “Since launching our apprenticeship scheme two years ago, we have seen that it works for the apprentices and for the business as a whole.

“We work closely with local training providers and colleges, and the calibre of the apprentices that have come to us has been extremely high.

“I think our business is the perfect size for apprentices – we aren’t so big that they find it intimidating, but we’re big enough to enable them to gain varied experience and get involved in different areas.

“We take great care to ensure each apprentice is given clear targets and objectives that fit into their department’s objectives. This is extremely important as it empowers them and enables them to take responsibility for their role.”


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