With nearly 200 apprentices on their current programme, property services powerhouse Connells have proven themselves to be strong advocates for apprenticeships to develop the next generation of their workforce. Since launching their programme, Connells have brought through hundreds of 16-24 year olds into estate agencies across the country, in a variety of roles and levels of experience.
We spoke to Recruitment Director at Connells Ian Dobrin about the value the business has placed on up-and-coming apprentices, and what other employers can learn from their experience.
Hi Ian, thanks for speaking to us. In what ways have your apprentices been a positive investment for Connells?
The apprenticeship scheme has allowed us to attract many smart new recruits into our business in all different departments, and since its official launch in early 2013, we now have many apprentices moving up the career ladder. It also shows our existing staff that we are keen to grow for the future, and allows our managers to develop and show their mentoring skills.
What do you feel apprenticeships can offer the property industry as a whole?
The property industry is a great place for youngsters to start a long and rewarding career and learn a variety of different skills. This industry is constantly evolving, and this is why it has proven to be a perfect fit for those wanting to adapt to a new environment.
Have the apprentices being around benefitted other staff members?
Definitely. The scheme allows our managers the chance to prove what they can do as good managers and leaders of people. It also allows us to see who cares about the welfare of their colleagues, which is probably the most important quality when being a leader in our business.
In what ways have some of your apprentices changed since the first time you met them?
There has definitely been a change. They have grown in confidence and stature, and many are progressing through the ranks and are now moving up the career ladder quickly.
How have the staff at Babington helped the apprentices develop through the programme?
The support team at Babington do just that – ‘support’. Not only do they support us as the employer, but they ensure individual apprentices can flourish and develop in a way other employees sometimes do not.
Why should other employers consider taking on apprentices?
It makes so much sense to bring in smart youngsters, many who have simply decided not to go to Uni because they are ready to launch their careers. It sends a great message out within the company that we care about giving youngsters a chance to break into the business, which traditionally is quite hard to get into. Our apprentices have proven to be very loyal, and early stats show that they have more staying power and commitment than many of our other new trainee recruits.