As National recruitment consultancy Integra People enters into its 10th year of business, the organisation reflects on the excellent value placing apprentices in internal roles has brought to the company, expecting to build on this success and recruit further apprentices in the near future.
21 year old Sophie Guest, from Leigh, has established herself as a valuable recruitment resourcer at Integra People. She has just completed an NVQ Level 2 in Business and Administration, after two successful years and two promotions within the business.
“I am so pleased with my progression so far. I’ve already learnt a lot and the business has been very supportive about my goals and enthusiastic about my future. My managers have always been understanding when I need time away from my role in relation to my NVQ, and made me feel welcome from the start,” said Miss Guest.
In January 2016, Sophie joined the recruitment consultancy in Warrington aged 18 following her A-Levels, after pinpointing payroll and administration as an area she was interested in gaining knowledge about.
Starting out on apprenticeship wage as a payroll administrator, Sophie was promoted to full-time employee permanent status within just seven months.
Internal HR officer Greg Higgins said: “Sophie exceeded our expectations by demonstrating her adaptability and eagerness to learn, and she was doing the job just as well as her full-time paid colleagues, therefore it was a natural and deserved progression.”
At the end of 2017, Sophie was once again promoted, this time to recruitment resourcer, starting her brand new role in January 2018 within the construction division in the recruitment team.
“Sophie was becoming confident and competent at dealing with customers, and had an excellent compliancy record. These qualities were transferrable and key to performing under the higher pressure role of resourcer,” said Mr Higgins.
The organisation has a steady history of employing apprentices – most impressively the successful journey of Marketing Manager Ben Murray, who started out in the company as an apprentice in 2013 – and it is an initiative they feel gives something back to the community.
David Lewis, Managing Director at Integra People, said: “As a recruitment agency, our number one passion and priority is providing work for skilled, local people. Internal progression and training is something that we take seriously, and give all hard working staff the opportunities to learn and develop.
The apprenticeship programme we use has allowed for fresh new talent to enter the workplace, benefitting from real-world experiences which academic study alone cannot provide. The skills that Sophie has picked up not only benefit her but the whole organisation.”