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Hiring our first apprentice

Danielle Mahoney

Talent blog

Danielle Mahoney from SilverDoor on how they hired their first apprentice – and the benefits it bought to the business

At SilverDoor we believe in supporting talented young people in business and have been working closely with Catch22, a charity with over 200 years’ experience in providing services that help young people in tough situations. We recently set up an apprenticeship scheme for young people between 16 and 18 years old and took on our first apprentice, Ryan Hendry, earlier this year. Hiring an apprentice represented the opportunity to help a young person start their career by offering practical, specialist experience whilst developing an employee who meets the needs of the business. Becoming an apprentice is an opportunity for a young person to gain valuable training, real world working experience, practical and relevant skills and, most importantly, future career opportunities.

Ryan moved to England with his family after completing his HSCs, the Australian equivalent of A Levels, when he was 17 years old. Having already taken an interest in software design, development, information processes and technology at school, Ryan knew he wanted to pursue a career in IT but didn’t necessarily have the qualifications to land a job in the competitive world of IT.

We hired Ryan as an IT Systems Support Apprentice in February 2013. To ensure that he got the most out of his apprenticeship we structured his time with timetables, six monthly plans and targets drawn up by his manager in conjunction with HR. We gave him a wide variety of training in areas from Windows server administration to development and coding and ensured the training allowed him to focus on the areas that were of most interest to him. Ryan is now enrolled on courses which will give him career-enhancing skills and certifications, all of which are being paid for by SilverDoor.

Since Ryan started in February he has been promoted to Junior PHP Developer and we have taken on six more apprentices, considering our scheme to be cost effective and successful. Our apprentices are enthusiastic to learn and, having had little to no experience of other workplaces, develop in a way that works best for our business. They make better investments, as they are more likely to stay longer with the company and progress into a management position. In this way they understand the business from the ground up and, therefore, how to manage and motivate other staff better.

Danielle Mahoney is HR & Recruitment Manager at SilverDoor.

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