Property services group Countrywide plc has announced that it is to join forces with learndirect on a fresh nationwide apprenticeship scheme.
The firm said that its main focus is on recruiting the best possible young people and subsequently retaining them in the business. With this in mind, it has put greater emphasis on helping youngsters begin their career in the sector by investing substantially in trainee programmes. There are plans in place to recruit in excess of 200 new apprentices during the next 12 months.
Offering young people the opportunity to develop their skills through both beginner and advanced customer service and residential sales apprenticeships, the programme will seek to root out the top talent. John Gray, Head of Management Development at Countrywide, said, ‘we’re delighted to be working with learndirect on the roll-out of our new apprenticeship programme. We see quality apprenticeships as a key part of our talent strategy-allowing us to invest in staff and promote from within. Initially, 40 apprentices will be joining this year in locations from Newcastle to Yeovil and Canterbury to Bolton.’
‘The apprentices will be classed as in learning for the first six months of the programme, developing the skills and knowledge of a front line property advisor, they will then move into an operational role for the remainder of their apprenticeship and will be eligible to earn rewards in line with the rest of the business. I am confident learndirect has both the capability and reach to achieve a successful, national roll-out of this programme within our retail business and beyond,’ Gray added.
Countrywide joins with learndirect for scheme
Steve Morris, Sales Director at learndirect, stated, ‘we’re really pleased to be working with Countrywide on developing and delivering its new quality apprenticeship programme. Over the coming months we’ll be helping them to source new people onto apprenticeships and training their staff so they are qualified and have the knowledge and skills needed so they can provide an excellent service to their customers.’
Continuing, Morris said, ‘Countrywide’s approach of giving their apprentices the chance to gain an understanding of what’s expected of them, before they move into a front-line retail role, is really commendable.’ He also feels that this, ‘really demonstrates how Countrywide value the integration of apprenticeships.’
‘At learndirect we’re working with more and more businesses who are seeing the benefits of apprenticeships creating a talent pipeline for the future; bringing new people into the business and providing consistent and high quality training, to name three,’ Morris concluded.