You’re Hired! Helen Becomes InvestSK’s First Apprentice

The organisation that encourages businesses in South Kesteven to recruit apprentices is setting a good example by taking on an apprentice of its own.

Helen Ward (18) has joined InvestSK as an apprentice office assistant and will support the economic development company at its office in Grantham while studying for an NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration at Grantham College.

“We’re delighted to welcome Helen to the team,” said Steve Bowyer, Chief Executive at InvestSK. “She’s really grasped the opportunity with both hands and I’m pleased to say we’re already seeing the benefits of recruiting an apprentice – the new skill set that Helen brings is really valuable.”

“We’re practising what we preach. Part of our remit is to help businesses grow by promoting apprenticeships in South Kesteven, and what better way to do that than by taking on an apprentice of our own? Apprenticeships can be a great way for a business to grow their own talent in a way that makes commercial sense.”

InvestSK is keen to hear from businesses who are thinking about taking on an apprentice but who might not know exactly how to go about it.

“Apprenticeships can be a bit of a mystery for small and medium-sized enterprises in our area,” Steve continued. “Businesses see the benefits but sometimes they find it hard to get the information they need about how funding works or what process is involved.

“Our role is to bridge that gap, put businesses in touch with training providers and strengthen the network of training organisations across South Kesteven.

Amy Clark joined InvestSK in July as Business and Skills Officer and since then has been working with local companies to understand their training needs and promote the benefits of taking on apprentices.

“In the short time since I joined InvestSK, I’ve met a large number of businesses all expressing their interest in taking on an apprentice,” Amy said. “There’s certainly a demand out there so now we need to make sure local training providers can meet that need.”

Recruiting an apprentice brings benefits for both the apprentice and the business: 81 per cent of customers say they would prefer to buy from a company that employs apprentices.

Helen says she’s enjoying her first experience of the working world. “I’m still learning the ropes but so far I’ve been involved in raising purchase orders and processing invoices, arranging meetings and providing administration support to the wider team.

“After I left school I had the option of going to university, but it wasn’t the route I wanted to take. I preferred to get straight into work, continue my training and actually earn some money!”

If your business is considering taking on an apprentice, or if you have a skills need that an apprentice might be able to fill, get in touch with Amy by calling 01476 406122 or emailing amy.clark@investsk.co.uk.