College helps hundreds of young people secure Apprenticeships

Young people across Cheshire, who are currently looking for an Apprenticeship, are being encouraged to join Cheshire College – South & West’s unique Talent Pool service.

Since the Talent Pool was launched over four years ago, it has helped hundreds of young people secure Apprenticeships; with 98% of those going on to permanent employment.

Gail Walsh, Apprenticeship Co-ordinator at Cheshire College – South & West, explains: “The Talent Pool is an Apprenticeship matching service between young people and employers.

“We work with more than 800 local and national employers so our Talent Pool members have access to Apprenticeship vacancies as soon as they appear.”

The Talent Pool team provide tailored support for candidates throughout the Apprenticeship application process. Gail adds: “Our expert team are here to help you to get an Apprenticeship and start your new career. Our goal is to match you with an Apprenticeship and employer that suits you. Whether you are ready to apply straight away or need support with interview skills, CV writing or confidence building we are here to help.”

Sophie O’Connor, 20, from Ellesmere Port, who is currently on the Talent Pool, said: “I really enjoyed studying Level 4 HNC in Performing Arts here at College as it gave me the opportunity to develop my knowledge and skills of the business side of theatre, events and production. I’m now looking for a Business Administration Apprenticeship. The Talent Pool has been a great – I’ve already secured a 12-week traineeship and have two interviews in the pipeline.”

One employer who recently used the Talent Pool service was NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit (CSU), based at Countess of Chester Hospital.  Chris Stenhouse, Client IT Services Delivery Lead, said: “The Apprenticeship team at the College were very helpful. Within the first couple of weeks we were sent 12 CVs from the Talent Pool. It was refreshing to have a good volume of candidates, all with a variety of skills, to consider for interviews and then potentially recruit as an Apprentice.”

Rebecca Norman, 18, from Ellesmere Port, who has secured the Apprenticeship role at NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit, said: “Thanks to the Talent Pool service I had already completed a Level 2 Apprenticeship in IT and I’m delighted to now progress onto a Level 3 Apprenticeship. When I joined the Talent Pool over a year ago the team helped me focus on my key skills and helped me prepare for interviews. They certainly gave me the first step in my career.”

To mark National Apprenticeship Week (5-9 March 2018), Cheshire College – South & West, will also host its annual Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 6 March 6-8pm at its Ellesmere Port Campus. With more than 150 guests expected to attend, the Awards will celebrate the outstanding performance and results achieved by Apprentices from across the region.

Cheshire College – South & West has more than 1300 Apprentices and works with a range of SMEs to large national employers including Unilever, Bentley, National Grid,, Vauxhall and Scottish Power.