Clearview National July 2015 - Issue 164 - Page 24

INDUSTRYNEWS Giving young people a chance Clearview invited Andy Kerr of North East Conservatory Solutions to talk about apprenticeships, what the company is doing towards training and developing young people in its business, and more importantly, what young apprentices are doing for them. »»Andy Commented: “In 2014 under 25’s in particular were still struggling to get a decent job. We have always had a positive policy regarding employing younger people and making sure we support them with ongoing training. “With the support of government incentives and incorporating NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications) in our business, we have been able to significantly increase our staff numbers and our production output over the last 12 months.” North East Conservatory Solutions works in partnership with the North East Chamber of Commerce, who provided them with the facility to search for young people interested in applying for apprenticeships. Andy continues: “I’ve always believed in investing in my staff, whether through apprenticeships or ongoing training and it has proved to have been a good decision. I can definitely recommend NVQ schemes for all areas of a business.” North East Conservatory Solutions take on two to three apprentices a year and track their personal development, providing support and reviews, new skills and giving the young workers tasks that can be assessed every month. “By hiring apprentices, young people get goals and targets set, giving them something to work towards as well as a sense of meaning and belonging in an organisation.” Andy adds. 24 » JUL 2015 » CL EARVI E W- UK . C O M As well as training a young workforce, investing time and resources towards apprentices can be highly beneficial to companies. Andy says: “Apprentices bring exuberance and fresh, clear thinking. They have no preconceptions about how the double glazing industry used to be. “The biggest benefit of getting younger people into the workplace is that they want to learn and are prepared to learn new ways of doing things. Their ability to learn and their motivation is phenomenal, as is their impact upon the company.” Everyone other than Andy started at North East Conservatory Solutions as an apprentice, which has seen growth at an accelerated rate in recent years. He adds: “Some of our staff were looking for work for years with no luck, but if you just give them the opportunity, they flourish and we have seen that here. “Every company should make time for apprentices and give people a chance: What have you got to lose? Hiring apprentices is limited risk. We wouldn’t have expanded as quickly as we have without apprenticeship schemes. It has benefitted us no end and we have quadrupled in size over the last three years due to our apprentices. “Things are looking really good for our business in 2015 and it makes us feel proud to be helping to develop young talented people to learn new skills and earn a proper wage.”