Why is having an apprentice training programme important?
Bright and talented young people are vital to the long-term success and sustainability of Aster Group. This is why we are so committed to apprentice training within our business. As a forward thinking and innovative business, our vision is for everyone to have a home but it’s not something we are going to achieve overnight. Our apprentices, and our current and future staff, have a huge role to play in helping us achieve this goal.
Aster’s apprentice training programme
We set up our apprentice training programme in May 2010. Although we had employed apprentices for a number of years before that, our business at that time had several different subsidiary organisations which operated in different ways, so there had never been any consistency to how this was done.
Our retention of apprentices after they had completed their training was also poor and needed to improve. Having a co-ordinated approach meant we could make the whole apprenticeship experience better for the people going through the programme.
So far, this has proved to be very successful. Since 2010, we have increased the number of apprentices we take on annually from two to an average of 12. Funding has also been made available to managers within the business who want to recruit an apprentice. At the same time, we are continuing to invest heavily in the programme to ensure it keeps delivering the excellent results we have seen so far.
Before we began recruiting, we talked to colleagues and they told us they would like to see us bringing more apprentices into our business. Many of our most experienced colleagues also expressed a desire to pass on the skills and expertise they had gained over their long careers to younger members of staff who were just starting out in theirs.
The combination of experienced colleagues, who have finely honed their skills over many years, and apprentices with raw talent who are eager to learn, means we have an increasingly diverse workforce, essential given the continuously evolving nature of our sector. It also means that, when our most experienced colleagues reach the end of their careers, their skills have been passed on and we won’t experience a skills gap.
Exciting career prospects and opportunities
Our apprentices also have their eyes opened to a wide and exciting range of career opportunities within our business - from developing new homes and housing management, to property maintenance and care and support – and the prospects we offer for career progression.
Our longer-serving apprentices have the opportunity to represent Aster at careers workshops, talk to students about the benefits of apprenticeships, and even help mentor the next apprentices to join our programme.
Increasing the number of apprentices in our organisation has definitely had a positive impact on the way we work, and given lots of young people the chance to take their first steps in what we hope will be long and successful careers.
For more information about careers with Aster, please visit our website: http://www.aster.co.uk/careers/.