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Lettings employers urged to take on more apprentices

4 December 2020 | Renting

Industry supplier The Letting Partnership is calling for businesses to take on more apprentices and support young people in a challenging jobs market.

The company has hired three apprentices and chief executive Jenny Markham says: “Today we’re calling on the lettings industry to think about what it can do to support young people, but we also want them to think about the benefits for their businesses of hiring apprentices.”

Apprentices Millie Draper, Chloe Smith and Jake Collins were delighted to join The Letting Partnership as apprentices during the summer.

Guided by mentors, they have been processing client accounts, liaising with agents on the phone and by email and carrying out day to day jobs, while working towards Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeships.

The Letting Partnership hired its first apprentices in 2016, beginning with John Westwood who is now the Client Induction Lead with full responsibility for onboarding and settling in new clients since passing his apprenticeship. 

He was followed by Ocean-Lee Parker, who passed her apprenticeship in September 2020 and accepted a full-time role as a Client Accounts Administrator, mentoring the new apprentices.

The Letting Partnership said some business owners are concerned that employing apprentices will take too much time or cost too much money, but the truth is that apprentices can help to upskill a workforce and that when a business hires any new employee it takes time to train them up.

The benefits of hiring apprentices include providing increased support for a growing business, fresh ideas and the opportunity to grow a member of staff for the future, while existing employees can also learn from the new and enthusiastic recruits.

Government grants, such as the recently launched Kickstart Scheme are available to businesses, providing funding for employers to create new six-month job placements for young people aged 16 to 24. Until the end of January 2021, additional government funded incentives are also available to businesses which take on apprentices.

Markham added: “All three of our apprentices are absolutely fantastic. Our mission is to provide them with a good working environment and training. In return they have a fantastic opportunity to progress up the career ladder.

“The lettings industry is the kind of environment which would suit apprentices and there are opportunities for progression. By the time they complete the apprenticeship thanks to the rigours of the course and our inhouse training program, they are competent and confident staff members ready to take on responsibility and sometimes seniority on the team.

“We are certainly aiming to take on more apprentices in the future as our business grows and we urge the rest of the lettings industry and indeed the wider business community to do the same and to give young people a platform where they can excel.”

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.