Apprentices work for us - Case Studies

Apprentices work for us

  • Business Name: Licence Bureau
  • Sector: Driver history vetting services
  • Location: Hemel Hempstead
  • Training Organisation: West Herts College

Katie Swingler, Compliance Manager says

“Businesses come to us when they need to check the driving records of prospective employees. Our vetting services review the driver-histories of applicants, gauging the risk of hiring them as commercial drivers and feeding this back to clients before final decisions are made on recruitment.

“The range of compliance services we offer has grown over our thirteen years of operation but it remains very much a business based on trust. Customers rely on us doing a thorough job, while the individuals being checked have the right under law to know that we’re handling this data confidentially.

“This has many implications for our own recruitment needs. Licence Bureau staff throughout the organisation need high levels of integrity and, given the length of training involved, must be encouraged to see the business as somewhere to build a career. A high turnover of staff a few months in, just as they are fully conversant with our vetting systems, is counter-productive all round.

“It’s for all these reasons that apprenticeships work for us – both when recruiting new staff and for developing existing employees. Apprenticeships demonstrate our commitment to career development, adding structure to roles and establishing routes for progression and promotion.

“In recent months we’ve appointed four new apprentices, one as a new recruit and three from within our existing workforce. These have been across IT and business administration.

“Something that’s caught my eye since being involved in developing these programmes is the focus apprenticeships have on specific job roles, with the knowledge acquired being directly relevant to the career of the apprentice. Speaking as a graduate not long out of university I can say that I apply much of my learning from my degree but it’s a far broader grounding the specifics offered by an apprenticeship.

“In addition, there’s a strong real-world feel about the apprenticeships. This makes the whole programme good for the business as well as the apprentice, with the NVQ element providing a base of knowledge that can be applied to your day to day at work.

“Feedback has been very positive – and not just from the four apprentices. It’s clear that applicants for jobs here find the prospect of structured training of real benefit. It’s proof that Licence Bureau staff are valued, and in a competitive marketplace for recruiting staff this helps to position the business is a place to build a career not simply just take a job. It’s a prospect that helps attract the right people, which is vital for us as everyone working here must share our values of integrity and attention to detail.

“Apprenticeships at all levels are about creating a mind-set that’s right for the business. Looking forward, degree-level apprenticeships are a really interesting prospect.”

"Taking learning to a higher level but keeping it resolutely tied to the needs of the business can only be a win-win"