Leading Learning Is All In A Days Work

East Durham College which helps people to gain new skills and qualifications is practicing what it preaches by providing structured training to help grow its own employees. The College has recently recruited 17 year old Apprentice David Quinn from Hartlepool.

To help find a suitable recruit to boost its workforce, the College enlisted the support of Apprenticeship vacancies, an online system that matches apprentices with prospective employers.

As a result, David, who is taking an Apprenticeship in Business and Administration, is now working as a member of the busy Technical Services Department.  He is based at the College’s new £36 million site at Peterlee.  As one of a team of five people he is helping to keep the College’s Information Technology infrastructure running smoothly.

Despite being relatively new to his role, David has already helped to make improvements to the technical services helpdesk and is the first port of call for logging and tracking colleagues’ technical queries.  He is also starting to use his technical experience to offer direct support to colleagues either over the phone or in person.

As part of his development David also receives onsite support from the Apprenticeship team within East Durham College.

With its own dedicated workforce development and Apprenticeship teams, which support hundreds of North East employers every year, the College is well placed to see the direct business benefits of having a skilled workforce in place.  Examples of success for local businesses include increased productivity, higher levels of motivation and enhanced profits.

Someone else who is familiar with the Apprenticeship programme first hand is the College’s Technical Services Coordinator, Andy Barker.

“I started off here as an Apprentice myself when I was sixteen. I have progressed through the ranks and have been promoted several times over the years. I’m now running the technical services department as well as managing a team of people including David,” said Andy.

“As an organisation which continually bangs the drum about the positive effects of the Apprenticeship programme, it is only natural that the College is keen to recruit and train its own apprentices too.  In fact, within the technical services department alone we aim to recruit one or two apprentice every two years.  As well as providing a great way for people to learn new skills and progress their careers, Apprenticeships help employers to grow their own talent from within,” he continued.

David is also happy with his career move. He explains: “I’m the sort of person who prefers to learn in a practical, hands-on way, so an Apprenticeship was definitely the right choice for me.

“I also found Apprenticeship vacancies very straightforward to use. Not long after I’d applied for the position at the College, I was invited for an assessment and an interview.  It goes without saying that I was thrilled to be offered the job.”

John Wayman, Regional Director, National Apprenticeship Service, said: “As well as injecting new enthusiasm into an organisation, Apprenticeships help to grow loyal employees who really understand your company values.

“They also provide an ideal way to manage succession and progression, by providing a pool of skilled people to select from for future promotion.”

To find out more about employing Apprentices within your organisation, please contact the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600 or visit the website www.apprenticeships.org.uk