BDM Talk

Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 7 to 13 February 2022

The 15th annual National Apprenticeship Week celebrates the value of apprenticeships to individuals, businesses and local communities. This year’s theme is ‘build the future’ which highlights how apprenticeships can help to develop the skills and knowledge required to develop a talented workforce with future-ready skills.

Apprenticeships are one of the most accessible and effective routes to a successful and fulfilling career, this is shown through both the number of schemes continuing to rise and the undeniable facts.

The apprentice learner survey found a staggering 85% of apprentices will stay in employment, with two-thirds (64%) remaining with the same employer. Research also shows that one in three (32%) of all former apprentices received a promotion within a year of completing their apprenticeship.

Another report, conducted by City & Guilds, found that almost 20% of employers have former apprentices working in board level positions, highlighting the phenomenal career progression. Furthermore, half (51%) of all companies disclosed that it takes an apprentice approximately five years to reach management level.

 Taking part in the apprenticeship programme enables BDM Talk to build the team we need to meet our objectives, and create trained employees who can go on to help build our company. Eventually these apprentices can go on to train staff themselves. Another advantage of recruiting apprentices within our company is the ability to mould our candidates to fit in with our specific needs from the very start, such as our values and culture. With our apprentices tackling an important chunk of the workload, they help us free up the rest of our team to work on higher level projects.

 So, it might come as no surprise to learn that employers massively benefit from apprenticeship schemes too.

According to a government report, nearly every employer that takes on an apprentice (96%) reports benefits to their business. Moreover, from a study of over 4,000 employers who have embraced apprentices, 88% stated they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of training their apprentices had received. 47% of employers went on to recommend apprenticeships to other employers.

BDM Talk apprentice update

BDM Talk have a strong group of dedicated apprentices and provide future-ready qualifications and skills that will last a lifetime. Not only does the National Apprentice programme benefit the individual, it’s a great advantage for the company and wider economy too.

Here at BDM Talk, we offer our staff opportunities to become customer service specialists. They become an advocate of customer service, acting as a referral point for all our customer requests, complaints, and queries. We support them in becoming an expert in our organisation’s products and/or services, enabling them to share knowledge with our wider team and colleagues. They will gather and analyse data and customer information, influencing change and improvements within our service.

We asked our current apprentices to share their experiences so far.

We are so pleased Claire Long feels the apprenticeship programme is helping with her development at BDM Talk. Claire is finding the program really interesting and explains:

“I am learning more about the company, our identity and service that I would never have thought of before. For example, understanding our core values, brand promise and our purpose as a company. It is also teaching me how a team is structured and the importance and benefits of working as a team. All in all, I am really pleased that I am doing it. Having to do functional skills alongside is harder but I have a structure now and I am really enjoying it.”

Claire then went on to explain how she’s been able to adapt her customer service approach depending on the customer needs:

“I have learnt to adapt my approach depending on the customer and circumstances. This can mean keeping calm, guiding them step by step through my knowledge and experience and sympathise where appropriate so the customer feels that they are being listened to and not in a queue of calls to be answered. I often find if I use these strategies the outcome will be positive.”

Sandie Nicholas our Contact Centre Manager is carrying out an apprenticeship in leadership and management and advises people considering an apprenticeship in customer service to:

“Make sure that you are willing to give it the time and focus it needs. Utilise the techniques you’re learning at work to put them into real live scenarios. They will enhance your skills and enable you to deal with situations in a more structured way.”

Jacob Brand recently promoted to our Group Operations Manager achieved a distinction in his Level 3 Team Leader-Supervisor Apprenticeship and was recognised by our partner Next Steps Apprenticeships as ‘December 2021 Apprentice of The Month.’ Jacob tells us the most beneficial aspect of his apprenticeship in leadership and management:

“The apprenticeship program has been extremely beneficial for me during and post completion. It has taught me new skills in leadership and learning and development that I previously did not have. Being able to take these and apply them not only to myself but the staff I manage has been a great help to mine and their development. Alongside this it has helped me to develop my already existing skills and hone them into a useful tool for myself and the business.”

Our CEO, Mike Surridge is a huge supporter of providing staff with learning and development opportunities whilst working:

“I am personally delighted that we have been able to support the National Apprenticeship program. We have supported the program with three key considerations:

1. The development of skills within the business are so important for our competitive position and our continued learning as a business which enables us to deliver a quality service to our clients.
2. All businesses need to plan and consider succession and we are no different. Investing in training through the apprenticeship scheme has enabled overall skill development and for us to promote staff from within the business having acquired the necessary skills to drive the business forward.
3. I believe that as an employer we have a social and moral responsibility to help and develop those in our business who have the right attitude and aptitude. Positive and committed staff are our successors and they are the future. The apprenticeships scheme has and is facilitating the delivery of skills development with the ultimate payback being an elevated skill based work-force.

We have many examples within the business where apprenticeships, training and continuous learning have provided clear business advantages.”