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National Apprenticeship Week

Ollie - recruitment

Ollie murray

It’s an exciting time to recruit an apprentice! 

We have had so many success stories from people choosing an apprenticeship pathway, from those that have now gained permanent employment into graded posts, apprentices achieving maths and English functional skills where they may have otherwise struggled to in school, and to winners of the annual Freeman Guild awards due to their outstanding commitment to both their workplace and local communities. Why not start the conversation of recruiting an apprentice in your department and allow another success story to be realised?  

You can of course get in touch with the apprenticeship team to see how you can be a part of this exciting time for apprenticeships, however I would like to use this as an opportunity to explain how our recruitment process usually works once you have decided whether to upskill an existing member of staff using the levy, or to recruit directly into an apprenticeship post.

The first step, as you may have guessed, is to create a job description, person specification and behavioural questions. Unlike other vacancies you may put out to advert for graded roles, we need to be conscious that as apprenticeships are open to anyone from the age of 16, some may not have a whole host of experience in employment and so they need to be tailored at an intermediate level. Age and experience should not be of much concern in the recruitment phase, as we are looking for a person displaying council behaviours, and the determination to use their apprenticeship as the starting block of a long and successful career at Coventry Council. Once this has been done, we will look to place your vacancy out to advert. Applications are taken from WM Jobs as is the norm for any graded post at the Council, but we also use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to gauge more interest as well as the National Apprenticeship Service and the Digital Apprenticeship Service. We have found this to be much more likely to give you a wider candidate pool, and a variety of skill sets and personalities to match your service area. The advertising period is for two weeks, and once you have shortlisted candidates for interview, the next phase of the apprenticeship recruitment journey, the ‘initial assessment’ can begin.  

The initial assessment is one single session that runs between the advert closing date and the interview day, led by the apprenticeship team. It is designed to introduce the candidates to the council as a whole and to explain how apprenticeships are structured. English and maths tests will also be done during this session so that we can see what level they are currently working at. After this has been completed, it is the interview stage and for you to select your new apprentice.  

And that is the recruitment process for apprenticeships. You will have an adviser throughout to help you along the way, but all in all this should be around four weeks in total keeping in mind that the right candidate could be starting a career to last a lifetime!

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