On the occasion of the National Apprenticeship Week 2016, Urban Network co-founders Perry and Stuart shared their thoughts on why Urban Network has taken on apprentices and on their positives impact on the business.
“We knew that we were going to grow the business, and as such we knew that we would have to scale the workforce in advance of the business need”, said Stuart Willcocks, Managing Director of Urban Network.“This is a challenging task under any circumstance, getting the right people is paramount, but also having them come in to the business and be productive as they are needed, rather than after the pain is felt makes it all the more difficult. Commercially hiring apprentices has many benefits, and of course we considered all of these and the advantages they afforded us, but our choice ran deeper than simply making it stack up financially.”
Perry Ashby, Urban Network CEO added “We wanted to feel like we were doing more than a straight forward hire of a new technician, we wanted to give an opportunity to a young person and give something back. Both Stuart and I benefitted from apprenticeships as part of our journey into business, and speaking personally I found the support, guidance and mentorship invaluable in shaping both my career and life. From this aspect, the modern apprenticeship scheme had huge appeal to us and the partner we chose made the process of hiring very easy to boot. From the business side we knew we would be getting a motivated, mouldable keen young individual who was ready to commit to a career path within our industry. We would be able to shape them to work in the Urban Network way, with our company ethos and ethic underpinning their development. However the feeling of contributing to the development of our chosen apprentice meant that we could also feel a sense of corporate and personal social responsibility. We knew that we would have this young person with us for at least a year, and statistically a full employee for long after. We invested a lot of time in inducting them in to the business to make them productive swiftly, and then further invested in helping them complete their courses. We were fortunate that our guys have always delivered on their own development, often leading their classes in their work. The pride form Urban Network’s side at their achievements has been a great bonus, professionally and personally, and our guys continue to be excellent technicians in training. The success we have seen inspired us to create our own continuation of their training with the Urban Network Analyst Trainee Programme, something that again we are incredibly proud of.”
We have had great success with the apprenticeship programme, and in the future will definitely go through this process again. We have true Urban Network technicians, great guys, and have the warm feeling of helping young people achieve careers that will shape their futures.
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