Why did we hire apprentices?
“As a new organisation, customers have believed in me and my skill instead of basing their opinions on the length of time my business has been operating. When searching for people to hire, I made the decision to look not at qualifications and skills, but the right person for the job.”
D365 Life Without Code’s company director Claire Bristow made the decision to employ two apprentices into her company in 2021. With years of experience as a Dynamics trainer, Claire knew she had the capability to teach someone the role. Therefore, the focus became finding the right person for the job, and not someone with the most experience. We believe passion cannot be taught, and this was a key part of the recruitment search.
Working as an apprentice Sales Executive
As a smaller business, each member of the team works hard to complete the tasks at hand. Even though Luca is currently an apprentice, he works hard and has had to be pragmatic in his daily tasks.
After completing his degree, he decided to re-evaluate the direction he wanted to take (in terms of a career) and came across sales. Without any experience, securing a sales position was a challenge. After spending some time searching, he decided that an apprenticeship role was the best choice.
“I was happy to do whatever it took for me to get there.” Having no prior understanding of sales positions, Luca felt that a perfect balance would be to broaden his knowledge whilst building experience in a work environment. However, this hasn’t dulled his responsibilities. As the only salesman in the company, Luca takes care of everything in the sales process from start to finish. With the support of those around him, he has been able to expand his skills and gain confidence in the role.
I began my role as D365’s content creator in March. Since then, I’ve worked with Claire to develop my writing. At the time, I had almost completed my degree in English Language and Literature (I have now since graduate with a first class degree!). I knew I wanted a role related to my course, however, I found it difficult to find opportunities. Given the current climate, I struggled to find places who were hiring at entry level (that didn’t require two years experience). After spending some time searching, I discovered this apprenticeship and thought it perfect. Transitioning into the professional world has been made simpler by the apprenticeship route I’ve taken. Though I still hold a great deal of responsibility, I’ve enjoyed having the chance to grow within the role in the supportive atmosphere that Claire has created.
Learning Curve and COVID-19
To help reduce the skills gap in England’s workforce, the Apprenticeship Levy was launched in 2017. This makes it easier for employers to introduce apprentices into their business!
The Learning Curve Group offer a wide array of high-quality courses for learners and employers to choose from. When the world went online in 2020, Learning Curve’s online functionality seemed like the best option for the D365 apprentices!
To anyone who is debating changing directions, apprenticeships can be a great way to get started. The courses work well in combining on-the-job and off-the-job tasks and the tutors offer extra support when needed. Learning Curve’s specialist services also help to ensure that we are meeting the key curriculum in our education.
Having guidance from various ends when beginning a new role has been invaluable in boosting overall confidence. It has offered Luca and I the support in our roles we might not have experienced otherwise.
You don’t have to be a big company to take on an apprentice
“I never would have thought that after only trading for a year, I would be in a position to employ not one but two apprentices. My experience has been nothing but positive, but that is a credit to Cameo and Luca.” – Claire Bristow, company director.
One of the main challenges Claire wanted to address was that everyone in the company felt like part of the team. Despite working remotely, this is the first experience of working in an office environment that both myself and Luca have had. Beginning our roles in one of the lockdowns meant that we had to be creative in how we could remain complaint with government guidelines, but still see each other face to face. When the guidelines changed and we were once again allowed to meet outdoors as a group, we took advantage of our company’s size and met in gardens (when the weather allowed!).
The balance between online interaction and face to face meetings helped to build team relationships and bring Luca and I into Claire’s work family, however we’re about to start a new chapter as we move into our new office tomorrow! These integrated positions, I feel, help us to work confidently in our positions.