HSS Hire – an award-winning supplier of tools, equipment and hire related services employing over 2,600 colleagues across the UK – is working with learndirect to provide young people with a rewarding career through apprenticeships.
Joe Parry, learning and development manager at HSS Hire said: “We decided to invest in apprenticeships as we wanted to offer opportunities to young people and thought HSS was the perfect fit for apprentices.
“We knew the business would ultimately benefit from investing time and support in the apprentices and we would have ambitious employees capable of making a positive impact. We also knew we could provide apprentices with an industry leading induction which would equip them with the necessary skills, helping them develop into successful colleagues.”
In September 2012, HSS Hire decided to run a pilot for apprentices aged 16-18. learndirect worked with them to design their ‘Hire Apprenticeship’ in customer service which would provide the apprentices with the opportunity to experience four areas of the business.
Parry said: “We felt this best suited our key roles; drivers mate, sales desk, test & run and warehouse which the Hire Apprenticeship covers. We thought this was really important, allowing the apprentices to come into our business and find their future career path. The pilot proved to be hugely successful – from the original 2012 intake, 20 are still with us in full time roles and our programme has since grown to include over 90 apprentices learning a range of different skills. From this success, we have now embedded the programme within our recruitment process allowing managers to raise an Apprenticeship vacancy when needed.
“The tangible measure we use to measure the success of the programme is how many apprentices progress to full time employment within HSS. That is the sole objective of our apprentice programme, getting young people into full time employment.
“HSS has developed a fantastic working partnership with learndirect which has always had the learner at the very centre of everything we do. The key account management and support we receive is excellent. We have continued to constantly improve our Apprenticeship offering and look forward to continuing this journey.
“Our programme is constantly developing as it’s still very much in its infancy. We’ve started recruiting young sales apprentices – who will complete a level 2 retail skills Apprenticeship and we aim to have created 35 of these vacancies by July 2014. We’re also working on introducing Apprenticeships in different areas of the business and across our other group companies.”