Apprentice paves the way to cost management at SG World

A Crewe-based company is reaping the tangible benefits of employing an apprentice after a cost-management exercise resulted in huge savings being made across the organisation.

SG World specialise in visitor management systems and recruited finance apprentice Beth Cann back in February 2015. Since then, Beth has revolutionised the way in which employees claim their expenses, saving the company thousands of pounds annually.

After carrying out a research exercise into the expenditure on company credit cards, Beth has created a policy which ensures its large field sales team book the most cost effective necessities when on the road including meals, travel and accommodation and has also set up a business account with a national hotel company to ensure a consistent approach.

What do apprentices bring to a business?

17-year-old Beth is currently working towards a Level 3 AAT Apprenticeship in Accountancy with the support of Total People and joined the company from another accounts role at a local telecommunications company.

“Beth came highly recommended from Total People and wowed us at the interview with her maturity, confidence and ambition,” said Financial Accountant, Linda Buckley.

“She has gone on to have a big impact within her job role and is already a great asset to the company.”

Linda recognises the important role apprentices have within the organisation and sees it as a two-way learning process.

“I believe in giving young people an opportunity and, in return for developing them, you too can learn a lot. They are the future of this business and bring in a lot of ideas and fresh knowledge and by starting someone so young enables them to grow with the business,” said Linda.

“In finance, you need to have the confidence to justify your findings and Beth has it in abundance. If she isn’t able to do something she will say. It isn’t just about being able to do something but actually understanding what you are doing and why and that is an attribute you cannot teach,” added Linda.

Building a workforce for the future

The value of work-based learning is evident to SG World who are not completely new to apprenticeships; Accountant Nathan Orford also started as an apprentice four years ago and is now responsible for looking after the financial management of three key divisions within the business and provides daily support to the company’s Directors.

“It is vital for the company to employ the right people,” admitted Linda. “They’re not just employees, our Chief Executive calls it the SG World Family; we like to bring apprentices into the family, into our way of thinking and our way of working without any preconceived ways of doing things.”

It goes without saying that Beth has never looked back since leaving secondary school in opting for an apprenticeship over full-time education.

“I knew I wanted to link what I was learning to reality so this route was the obvious one for me. Being an apprentice is a family tradition too as both my brothers did an apprenticeship and have since progressed well in their careers and my twin sister is training to be a dental nurse!” added Beth.

For the last 40 years, SG World has developed innovative products to help customers look after people, premises and property. The company employs 150 staff with regional offices in London and Ireland and has a customer base in excess of 20,000 organisations across the UK.

SG World have been working with Total People for a number of years in developing their future workforce with apprentices in ICT, Business Administration, Accountancy and Customer Service.