BCL Legal, one of Manchester’s great legal recruitment companies, are adding to their staff with two more Apprentices. We here at The Apprentice Academy love stories like this. It proves again and again that not only is Manchester a great place to be, but that Greater Manchester apprentices are loved by the people and companies they work for. The fact that the apprentices are able to add real value and are up to speed quickly will hopefully give other businesses, particularly the professional services sector – the confidence to recruit this summer.
The new apprentices, were introduced by The Apprentice Academy taking the BCL total to three in just 12 months. We salute BCL Legal and would love for other Manchester companies to offer more opportunities to school and college leavers. As the Manchester Gazette*, proudly reports, the company’s first apprentice – Nichole Luckhurst – joined the business last year and she has now been joined by Hayley Slate, 17, from Failsworth and Tom Dunlop, 18, who lives in Birchwood. All three have fixed term contracts of two years at BCL Legal’s head office and are working across the firm providing administration and general office support to both the private practice and in-house departments.
As Jim Clarke from The Apprentice Academy explains: ‘Young people like Nicole, Hayley and Tom are our future – it’s great to see employers like BCL giving those vital first career opportunities. Not only are they helping to develop young people, they are also developing their own future workforce from grassroots.’
As well as their day to day roles, BCL Legal is also supporting them with extra training including working towards a Business and Administration NVQ qualification. The fact that employers benefit from better trained and qualified apprentices is what The Apprentice Academy is all about. By supporting the development of their young staff – BCL can really support their own grass roots labour and grow a workforce who have the skills they need for the future.
The reasons for getting an apprentice can be many and not just economical as Emma Anthony, Operations Manager at BCL Legal, says: “We decided to launch the Apprentice Programme so we could help talented youngsters get on the job training that would really set them up for their future working lives.”
Some businesses query how quickly apprentices can get up to speed and add value. Alison Bagnall Director at The Apprentice Academy says:
“ Its all about getting the right apprentice matched with the right business to start with, which is why we spend a great deal of time assessing learners before we place them with employers. If you get a good match then the results are amazing. Most of the businesses we work have never recruited an apprentice before, so its really important we find the right apprentice for them, so they have a good experience of the scheme. Some employers are also concerned that they are too small and don’t have the time or skills to start an apprenticeship programme, however we work with lots of SME’s all around Manchester and with the additional support services we provide – they feel fully supported and its business as usual”
A recent survey we did found that 45% of our customers said that their apprentice was adding value within 0-4 weeks of starting and 41% said that their apprentice was adding value within 4-8 weeks of starting. This means that 86% of our customers said that their apprentice was adding value within 8 weeks. Something we here at The Apprentice Academy call “The Magic 8”. If our apprentices can add value within 8 weeks of starting their apprenticeship then employers will continue to invest and hopefully recruit more.
Emma from BCL concurs saying that “All three of our apprentices are now making their mark and adding real value. Our experience of recruiting apprentices has been fantastic and we’d encourage other businesses to make the leap and do the same.”