At Total People we love hearing from our employers, and none more so than Proactive Personnel, based in Telford. We caught up with General Manager Kevin Humphreys to find out more about their experience of apprenticeships with Total People.
“Proactive Personnel is a recruitment agency which was established in 1999. We employ around 130 staff and have 12 branches across the Midlands and North West of England. Our main area of business is securing roles for permanent and temporary staff in the commercial, technical, industrial and transport sectors.
“I’ve long been an advocate of work-based training, so once the levy was introduced it made perfect sense to me to use the funds to invest in upskilling our staff. I contacted several training providers to see who would fit our business best, and included Total People in this process due to their great reputation for quality and the strength of their Ofsted report. I met with a Business Development Executive and immediately felt that our wants and needs as a business were being listened to – Total People offered the apprenticeship standards that we were looking for and were able to deliver them across the wide geographical area that we needed. I really liked the delivery model combination of on and off the job training and was impressed that Total People were keen to integrate some of our processes into the delivery model, to make the training bespoke to our needs. As a business we were put firmly at the heart of the process; I felt that I was genuinely listened to and the delivery and training proposals that were offered met our business needs.
“We now have 24 apprentices across our sites – most of these members of staff were existing colleagues that we’ve used our levy funding to train, but some are new starters. Their programmes include Recruitment Consultant, Business Administration, Management and HR, all at varying levels to suit the learner’s and the business needs. Knowing that we have robust and on-going focus on training makes the recruitment of new staff much easier too, because we know that once in post they will commence a structured programme of learning which will not only benefit them but the organisation as a whole. Nurturing colleagues and helping them grow fits perfectly with our ethos.
“Recruitment is typically a very competitive industry, people tend to move around a lot, but the apprenticeship programme with Total People has helped us to maintain our excellent staff retention rates; we pride ourselves on keeping our staff and helping promote colleagues from within. What sets us apart from our competitors is our ability to understand what employers want combined with exceptional levels of customer service – our staff on apprenticeship programmes are able to further develop these qualities and demonstrate them on a daily basis.
“Recruitment is also a very demanding industry, our colleagues here can work early mornings, late evenings and weekends. Our Total People Training Adviser is very flexible though – she really understands the industry and works assignments and training around the needs of the business, rather than dictating what needs to be done. All evidence and assignments for the qualification are conducted using an online system ensuring efficient feedback and contact is maintained.
“I’d have no doubt in recommending Total People. Everyone I’ve dealt with from the initial contact to the Training Advisers and assessors has been knowledgeable and flexible. Any issues that have arisen have not only been addressed, but swiftly resolved. The levy allows employers the opportunity of benefitting their business with learning and skills – these benefits are measurable and tangible. It’s really important to work with a provider like Total People that fully understands your business and works with you to ensure success – once that’s in place, go for it.”
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