Many school leavers choose university because they feel there aren’t any other routes to success. However, university isn’t for everyone. I knew after completing my A-levels it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue; that wasn’t to say I no longer wished to study, I did, but I also wanted to get out into the big wide world and see what else was on offer. So, after assessing my options and talking to my family I joined a recruitment agency that specialised in apprenticeships.
An apprenticeship is a great way for young people to get their foot in the door early, experience a real life workplace, gain relevant qualifications, earn a wage and avoid the mountains of debt that come with going to university. Learning, working and earning – seemed like a win-win to me.
After a few interviews with various companies and exploring my options, I joined Total Facilities Recruitment (TFR). I’ve now been here for nine months and am absolutely loving it. I came straight from A-levels with no experience. What I did have was a genuine interest in recruitment and a desire to grow as a person, to strengthen my professional skills and build the foundations for a fantastic career.
So, what is a typical week for an apprentice at TFR?
I came into work nice and early and checked in a candidate for a role, making sure they’d arrived to work. I then started working on a vacancy that a client had sent in the early hours of the morning. My challenge was to source two warehouse security guards to start ASAP. This was quite difficult but nonetheless, I managed to find two great candidates and arranged for them to start the following day.
I checked in with both new security guards to make sure they got into work okay – it’s always important to have a ring round first thing so if there are any issues they are immediately dealt with. I then started resourcing for a cleaner to start ASAP on a five-week contract. The candidate I found was a perfect fit and was able to start straight away. In the afternoon, I resourced for the hard services desk, looking for a permanent electrical maintenance engineer. I sent several suitable candidate CVs to the client and now await to see who they would like to see for interviews…
I am not in the office and instead I’m studying with a separate apprenticeship training provider, learning even more about recruitment. Combining work and study will enable me to gain a recognised qualification: the REC Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Recruitment Resourcing. This qualification will provide me with a stepping stone into the career I want without going to university.
I was on a site visit with one of our senior consultants. This client has given TFR several engineering roles to fill so visiting the site means that I am able to see the equipment that the engineers will be using, the environment they will be in, meet the client and go through the jobs he was recruiting for in more detail! It was a fascinating experience and gave me a lot of insight into the work of a maintenance engineer.
I sat in on a couple of interviews for a permanent electrical engineer role. This helped me to understand what makes a strong candidate in terms of skills, experience and personality. Later in the day I worked on a three-month role for a contract support. Towards the end of the day we celebrated a birthday in the office! This involved cake and presents and was the best way to end the week.
Once I started my apprenticeship with TFR, I was amazed at how much I was learning. Of course, it was scary at first but with amazingly helpful and friendly people in the office I have been able to develop my knowledge, skills and confidence. My time here has been full of so many laughs and the chance to witness many inspiring successes.