PSI MAGAZINE COLUMN: AUGUST 2014

This month Simon Banks talks to Brett Ennals, Managing Director at Cento Group & Fire and Security Jobs, about apprenticeships and the value they can bring to a growing business. Brett has 25 years experience in the sector and recently collaborated with the 100 in 100 Apprenticeships program.

This month Simon Banks talks to Brett Ennals, Managing Director at Cento Group & Fire and Security Jobs, about apprenticeships and the value they can bring to a growing business. Brett has 25 years experience in the sector and recently collaborated with the 100 in 100 Apprenticeships program.

What are the biggest objections employers have when considering an apprentice?

Initially it is cost and then the underlying fear that once trained, the apprentice will leave. An employer should not look at the initial cost of the apprentice but the long-term cost to their business if they don’t employ an apprentice. We live in an ageing population with an ever increasing talent shortage. Employing apprentices provides employers with a bespoke talent pipeline for the future. It demonstrates to end user clients that your business is professional and has longevity, invaluable at bid stage. Continual investment in your employees is a must for all businesses. The biggest motivator for people to leave a business is feeling undervalued and lacking in progression. If an employee feels valued they will stay.

Pro-apprentice campaigners are sometimes accused of being anti-university, what is your view on this?

Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to ‘Earn while you learn’ and need to be encouraged as an alternative to university. It seems recently that careers guidance in schools and colleges is virtually non-existent. The UK is currently experiencing a talent paradox whereby there is a shortage of skilled people with millions of young unemployed. Apprenticeship schemes can help alleviate this problem. 

What key advice would you give to an employer wanting to get involved in apprenticeship employment?

Get in touch with the National Apprenticeship scheme, Skills for Security, local schools and colleges and let them know you are looking. Secondly, treat the recruitment of an apprentice as you would the recruitment of any employee, this is your investment in the future of your business. Give some thought to what attributes would make a good apprentice and look for these traits in your potential hire. Think about the apprentice’s career path within your business, where do you see this person in five years time? Plan your interviews. Prepare your questions to enable you to engage with each individual and interview each candidate equally. Also never forget that the interview is a two way processes, good candidates always have other employers to consider. Why should they come and work for you? Finding the right person for your business will ensure long term success for both parties.

What has made your company focus specifically on the Security Sector?

Having started in the industry as engineers who progressed into sales and management roles we had the right knowledge bank and experience. We noticed that there was a gap for a consultancy business with hands-on experience of the roles it was recruiting for, rather than just providing a CV matching service.

You Said It! 

“No phone line in your premises? No problem! Our #DigiAir communication device can monitor Alarm Systems #wirefree.”

Tweeted by @AWMAlarms · Jun 2

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