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Lucie Mitchell

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more about Lucie Mitchell

HR tip: Limiting recruitment – discrimination?


These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.


Ordinarily we visit four schools each year to give talks about engineering and what we do in the hope that they will produce some good apprentice recruits for us. The school just around the corner from which we draw most of our recruits is a boys’ school, two of the others are mixed, while the farthest from us is a girls only school. We do not want so many recruits this year and we are a bit short of staff to make four visits, so plan to cover just the nearest school. However we have been told that this may be sex discrimination. What do you think?

It could be construed as such, though it might be difficult to argue the case. However, even if you need fewer apprentices, you are reducing greatly your catchment population. Therefore I suggest that you still cover all four schools, even if the visits are shorter. Consider, for example, inviting the careers adviser of each school to your site and give them a full briefing so that they are inspired to send appropriate youngsters to you. But apprentices are vital for the future of any engineering business, so I really would urge you not to cut back on your recruitment activity.

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Lucie Mitchell

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Lucie Mitchell

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