Stafforce extends apprenticeship scheme reach
Stafforce’s drive is timed for the run-up to National Apprenticeship Week, in March.
It intends to raise awareness that an active Apprenticeship scheme is an effective way of developing talent pools and investing in people who will grow business in all sectors - then work with employers to identify and recruit the right individuals, managing training, development, payroll and other HR functions for them throughout.
Stafforce claims that this is a major benefit to firms as they will be able to appoint apprentices who have been pre-vetted for their suitability, while the process gives them far more flexibility and support than if they were to directly recruit.
Apprenticeship Academy head, Jacqueline Lovewell, said, “Employers can gain all the competitive advantage to be had when embracing Apprenticeships, while minimising their risk. Apprentices are a very potent means to cultivate the talent of the future, lift a company’s skill base and create a committed, able, highly competitive workforce.
“At the same time employment levels, local economies and personal outcomes are all boosted, as young people earn while they learn real life skills and gain relevant, industry-recognised qualifications.”
The ATA’s recruitment and management service is delivered both onsite and in classroom sessions with training providers, who are selected to suit the needs of host companies from a choice of the best on the market. To date, 142 apprentices have been successfully placed with Yorkshire and Humberside host companies.
The national launch comes at a time when the failure of many of the country's SMEs to capitalise on the benefits of apprentice recruitment has caused concern. A recent report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) revealed that over two thirds of businesses here don’t offer Apprenticeships, despite it being a highly effective way of bolstering workforces and importing skills, according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
The BIS found that 80% of those who employ apprentices reported that they make the workplace more productive 88% found that they are loyal, hardworking, grow their business and lead to a more motivated, satisfied workforce 83% use their Apprenticeship programme to provide their future skilled workers while 81% of consumers prefer to use a company that employs apprentices.
An example of success can be found in Stafforce’s work with Total Lindsey Oil Refinery, at Killingholme, North Lincolnshire, which says it has seen impressive results after its partnership with the Academy.
Operations training co-ordinator, Kevin Smith, explained, “Working with the ATA boosted our Apprenticeship programme in the local area and developed skills for our industry. The service allows us to sponsor apprentices through the academy and get help in the recruitment phase, with Stafforce’s team undertaking payroll, contracts and employment, as well as providing overall support for the youngsters.
“The ATA model has worked really well for us and we directly employed eight of the apprentices that went through our programme in 2012/13.”
Jacqueline Lovewell added, “Businesses up and down the country are not taking advantage of the opportunities that Apprenticeships offer, but we can be the helping hand for those who want to inject new talent into their business by sharing the responsibility.
“With a great pool of talented young people here who are eager to succeed, we are working in and with companies to find the right apprentice for each of them, so that the optimum investment in the future can be made.
“Apprenticeships are great for businesses across all sectors in the UK and the Stafforce apprenticeship academy is making it easier for employers to benefit from having apprentices working as part of their team.”
Stafforce was awarded Apprenticeship Training Agency status by the National Apprenticeship Service in 2012.
The government funds 100% of training fees for 16–18-year-old apprentices and up to 50% for those aged 19–24.