The drive to recruit this year’s intake of apprentices at Darke & Taylor is in full swing, with high levels of interest from young people wanting to join the company’s long-standing apprenticeship scheme and learn through a winning combination of hands-on training and academic study.
In 2017, 47 candidates were interviewed and 15 apprentices ultimately taken on, including three females. Work experience was also offered to students from local schools and colleges, with 17 taking part last year.
So far in 2018, 27 candidates have applied for the apprenticeship scheme, with the interview process starting shortly, and work experience placements are also filling up. The company has attended three careers fairs to date and will have a presence at several more over the coming weeks.
Paul McNaughton, Managing Director at Darke & Taylor, who started his career as an apprentice with the company, said: “Our apprenticeship scheme enables us to find the talented people we need to continue to move our business forward. As they are immersed in the Darke & Taylor ethos and way of working from the start, they are not only excellent employees, but great ambassadors for the company too.”
Darke & Taylor’s commitment to and belief in the importance of apprenticeship schemes is highlighted in its wider involvement in apprenticeships. For two years running the company has been a sponsor and committee member of the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards, which this year are taking place on 24 April. Commercial Director Simon Newton is also Chair of the Thames Valley Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, which works to promote apprenticeships in the area. Recently, the company has been involved with an article that is being written on Effective Practice in Apprenticeships and has attended an event organised by Oxfordshire LEP entitled ‘A Conversation between Business and Education,’ which looked at the importance of businesses engaging with schools and offering work experience.
Apprentice electrician Mat Thomas also represents Darke & Taylor as an Apprentice Ambassador for Oxfordshire LEP and attends a variety of events ranging from giving talks in schools to taking part in Human Library events, attending career fairs and meeting MPs. In addition, the company is a member of the 5% Club (www.5percentclub.org.uk) and has exceeded its pledge to have 5% of its workforce made up of young people who are on a structured training scheme over the next five years.
Paul McNaughton concludes: “This is a great time to join our team. We are investing in the next generation, and our apprenticeships are open to all. Over 60% of our current management team started with the company as an apprentice, which demonstrates that there are long-term, fulfilling careers available to those who have the motivation to succeed.”
For further information on the opportunities available at Darke & Taylor, please visit: https://darkeandtaylor.co.uk/people/apprenticeships-and-careers/