Three young people who joined Orchard’s apprenticeship scheme at the end of 2011 have each been offered permanent roles with the software provider. Housing Technology covered the start of Orchard’s apprenticeship scheme in the January 2012 issue (page 4).
During their apprenticeships, Daniel Gilliland, Danielle Christer and Richard Aydon have gained valuable work experience as well as NVQ qualifications. Daniel is now helping Orchard’s rapid application development (RAD) team as a technical assistant, Danielle is working on the service desk, and Richard within the ICT team.
Louise Crennell, HR manager, Orchard, said, “We believe that apprenticeships are a great way to find talented individuals looking to start their careers. To us it is all about finding bright people with a great attitude to work and learning. Following on from these successes, we will soon be looking for another apprentice to join the ICT team.”
Orchard launched its scheme to employ the services of local talent for one year with the possibility of a longer term job when the scheme ended. Orchard’s apprenticeship scheme is recognised by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS). According to NAS, apprenticeships bring ‘considerable value to organisations, employers, individuals, and the economy’.
Alison Davis, operations director, Orchard, said, “We embarked on a similar scheme in 2005 which worked really well, resulting in one young man gaining a reputation as one of our most respected support specialists. Not everyone wants to go to university and we continue to offer our support to those who have the potential to thrive in our environment.”
Housing Technology strongly encourages all companies in the social housing sector, whether they are housing providers, IT suppliers or consultancies, to follow Orchard’s example and find out more about apprenticeships. Many businesses are now realising the enormous benefits that apprenticeships create, not only in terms of a highly skilled workforce, but also by boosting productivity and increasing staff retention.