Our very first Lettings Apprentice

Sewell & Gardner's Jane Gardner

I know nothing about apprenticeship schemes but I have always had an office junior in the team and our current lad, Umar, who is due to take his ‘A’ levels this Summer, had recently been talking to me about the pros and cons of going off to University in the Autumn or possibly taking a full time role within the Lettings Department…

So it was quite a coincidence when I received a telephone call from a lovely lady called Tamsyn from the National Apprentice Fund asking if I would consider offering someone an Apprenticeship in Lettings & Property Management…!

Tamsyn can be contacted on 07970 110826

I said that I would possibly be interested but that I knew nothing about the scheme, so Tamsyn ran through the basics with me:  You need to have someone working for you full-time for 30 hours or more.  It can be someone in your current employ or somebody you take on specifically for the apprenticeship – so long as they meet the correct criteria, in my case, they need to be:

  • over 16 years of age,
  • educated to NO MORE than NVQ level 3 standard (so no HND, HNC, Degree or Higher),
  • earning a minimum of £2.50/hour,
  • have been a resident in the UK for 3 years or more,
  • not undertaking any other education

I spoke to Umar about this possibility, but he had made the decision to go off to University in September to study accountancy so if I wanted to take on an apprentice then I would need to look at employing someone specifically for the role.  However, there would be a Monday to Friday administrator opportunity available as Umar would be giving up his ‘after school’ work slot (albeit that is part time) but also, with the lettings market getting busy, the negotiators could be looking for some assistance with viewings and administration, so I was certainly keen to pursue this course, IF I could find someone suitable.

We are a family run business and the majority of our staff have come to us via association or recommendation, so I was thinking about people I knew and wondering if anyone could fit the bill.  Sitting in my hairdressers one Saturday lunchtime, I was discussing the ‘apprenticeship’ opportunity with my lovely hairdresser and she suddenly rushed off, saying she had an urgent phone call to make, and 5 minutes later I had 2 potential candidates lined up!

I was particularly keen on one lady, currently a fully trained beautician and nail technician at a popular local salon and think she would make a perfect apprentice, BUT really, is she looking for a change of career?  Well it sounded very much like that was the case, and an ‘interview’ was duly organised over the coming week.

Funnily enough, had I not found a potential candidate so quickly I was considering running an ‘Alan Sugar’ type interview structure, picking 10 potentials and setting them various tasks over a 10 week period, with one candidate being ‘FIRED’ each week until the job role was filled in a thrilling show-down between the final 2 applicants.

Something to consider for the future, but in the meantime, I offered Lottie the apprenticeship position and she joined us on the 3rd of May.  She is going to be writing an ‘apprenticeship diary blog’ so that you can all follow the trials and tribulations of our brand new lettings team member…

 

Watch this space.

TTFN

Lettings Angel

Jane Gardner from Sewell & Gardner

Jane Gardner from Sewell & Gardner

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