Well we have started our apprenticeship recruitment drive for 2012 with some great new developments and also some lessons that give me food for thought.
For those of you that are new to this blog, Amey is a leading UK infrastructure services business and part of the Ferrovial group and we passionately believe in the need to offer young people in the UK a range of entry points into us and a range of careers. Our average age in Amey is 44 which is probably typical of British industry but as we all know the world around us is changing fast and we need a constant flow of younger people coming in to bring different ideas, approaches and energy that keeps us fresh.
The UK, like most western European countries has high levels of youth unemployment, although by comparison with some countries ours is better than many. What we can’t afford as a country, though, is to have another ‘lost generation’ like we experienced in the 1970’s.
The UK Government and its agencies are focussed very firmly on encouraging employers to offer apprenticeships and funding further education colleges which is great news. Outside of all this, Amey has decided that we need to be very much engaged with apprenticeships for our own reasons, and that’s why we have set ourselves a corporate target of having 2% of our workforce in a recognised apprenticeship or trainee scheme by the end of this year.
And that’s why we have started last week, our recruitment drive, as this year we need to hire 140 or more people to meet the target. As you would expect we have planned this out, refreshed our website, made a video to go onto YouTube (more on this next time), advertised, booked venues around the UK and assessors for assessment centres (we don’t just take on anybody) and done it professionally.
So given all of this you would expect the young people who had applied for our jobs to be quite keen wouldn’t you? That’s why we were surprised and amused last week that some people did not turn up at the appointed time and place for the interview and assessment. Naturally we ‘phone up to see if they are stuck in traffic and in one case got through to the applicants mother.
“Hold on” she said – “I’ll just pass the ‘phone to Johnny”.
“Johnny – you explain why you are not at the interview” she says, passing the telephone to her son who is still in bed and just waking up.
All in a day’s work for us, but maybe not for him! Can I be the first to coin the phrase “Generation Zzzz”?
I’m pleased to say that most people did turn up, were impressive and we made job offers to many of them.