Birchwood Investment Management Ltd
Birchwood Investment Management Ltd is an independent financial services company and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Birchwood provides a comprehensive financial planning and investment management service for their clients.
Margaret Gray, company director, explained that there are a number of benefits to the business by taking on apprentices. They include an increase in output and efficiency as the apprentices take pressure off their colleagues by taking on time-consuming tasks such as file preparation for meetings, checking and completing documentation accurately and obtaining online investment illustrations.
Charlie has been with the company since May 2013. He attended Marriotts School in Stevenage entering the sixth form for a short period to continue to study ‘A’ levels in Maths, Economics, Media and BTEC level 3 PE. He had a plan to go on to university until he reflected on the cost of the fees and the debts incurred. He decided then that he really wanted to ‘earn and learn’ as an apprentice. Charlie applied for various apprenticeships, researching the vacancy website. It was not until John Laing Training made contact that he secured his current position.
He said: “No two days are the same and each day brings the unexpected. This is why I enjoy working in investment.”
Photo: Charlie working alongside his paraplanner Darren
The George Public House, Hitchin
The George is an independent family run business, managed by Lee Taggart and jointly owned with his mother. Lee has a passion to work with young people. He said: “I enjoy the unpredictability of working with people; you never know what’s going to happen and who is going to walk through the door. I like being in the industry of making people happy.”
Lee took on Jerome on employed status rather than simply an apprenticeship wage. He has given Jerome the time to work through the assignments at his own speed with the incentive that the pay will increase as soon as he is qualified. Lee has paid Jerome’s travel, given him free food and allowed him to experiment with new dishes in the kitchen at the public house. He keeps Jerome motivated by setting an ‘ingredients challenge’ now and again.
Jerome said: "Getting experience with an employer whilst working towards a qualification means you have something to show for all your hard work."
Jerome’s ambition is to work in a restaurant, possibly abroad where he will be able to learn about different flavours and create different menus. He feels that there are so many avenues to go down in the hospitality industry including setting up his own business.
Photo: Jerome keeping up with the lunch time orders.
Trinity Estates Case Study
Trinity Estates are a national property management company that aims to offer national knowledge and expertise at a local level. They specialise in property management solutions for blocks of flats, residential estates and mixed-use developments of varying sizes and have a head office in Hemel Hempstead.
The company took on an apprentice in a Legal Administrator role. Ryan de Pledge, Lease Compliance Manager at Trinity Estates, spoke highly of the scheme and their apprentice Rebbecca Charles:
“We worked with West Herts College to interview four candidates for the vacancy and Rebbecca really stood out. Within a few weeks of her working with us we realised that Rebbecca was capable of a higher level of work and study and as such the College moved her on to the Level 3 apprenticeship.”
Rebbecca is required to deal with a varied workload within the legal department at Trinity and deals with a range of people, from solicitors to leaseholders, so the skills she needs to utilise to succeed are equally varied.
Ryan said: “The content of the apprenticeship has been refreshingly flexible and it has been great to incorporate the customer-focused side of Rebbecca’s role into modules she is studying. Her workload has steadily increased and both sides of her apprenticeships are going swimmingly, I’m really happy with how the apprenticeship has worked out for the company, it’s been a delight.”