Earlier this month we commented on the importance of UK businesses providing employment opportunities for young people (click here to read the article in full), and now we’re proud to announce that at Cascade HR we walk the talk!
Three new apprentices aged 17-19 have joined our expanding team of HR, payroll, software and customer service experts, and already they’re proving incredibly valuable additions to our workforce.
School and college leavers Lewis, Nathan and Aman opted to enter the world of employment rather than continue their academic education, and their work ethic, mature mindedness and desire to learn was just what we needed.
Service desk manager Sarah McNicoll, who had the idea to support the UK’s apprenticeship programme, explains the journey they have come on so far: “We are committed to providing considered learning and development opportunities for all of our employees, so when I knew we were planning to further grow our team I approached our board of directors to suggest we look into offering apprenticeships.
"They loved the idea so we began researching high quality Government schemes/apprenticeship training providers to partner up with. We spoke to a number of agencies but were particularly impressed with the IT and service focused nature of QA, who seemed committed to providing carefully monitored hands-on learning. QA also excelled in terms of the class of applicants they put forward. Even though they obviously didn’t have the full skill set we required, they had the important personal qualities and foundations upon which we could build their knowledge during their time with us.”
Having joined Cascade in June, the three apprentices have already begun to specialise in key areas of the business. Aman, who initially spent six weeks working with the service desk team to learn as much as possible about Cascade’s fully-integrated HR and HMRC-recognised payroll product, has now moved into the development team as a trainee software tester. Both Lewis and Nathan have remained on Sarah’s team so that they can slowly progress to the role of a service desk consultant.
Sarah continues: “At the moment they are helping to answer the phones and are gradually learning how to diagnose the issues that clients may be experiencing. As their understanding of the software grows, they will gradually become equipped with the knowledge to do the same role as other members of the service desk team.
“The workload of these three new recruits is being carefully managed to ensure their learning is relevant and beneficial for all parties – they haven’t been appointed to just make the tea and empty our bins, we want to offer credible employment opportunities. We are also working closely with QA who come in regularly to monitor their progress and work-based development.
“The aim is to nurture these apprentices so that they can grow as Cascade evolves. They are all on permanent contracts so providing they succeed during their 12 month apprenticeship we look forward to retaining them long into the future.”
In only a short time these apprentices have set a high standard for future candidates who come to join the company. Sarah concludes: “This is of course a big learning curve for Cascade. We knew we were putting a lot of trust into this apprenticeship scheme, and we were cautious that we didn’t want to disrupt the rest of our hard-working team. However we have not been disappointed and we are delighted to be supporting such an important employment agenda.”