WR Refrigeration has launched a new national apprenticeship scheme as part of a wide-ranging review of its recruitment and staff development strategy.
Under the scheme, at any one time the company aims to have five per cent of its total workforce employed as apprentices – equating to 30 apprentices. It will cover the company’s 17 branches and five business units across the country.
WR Refrigeration is working with Leicester College to identify and recruit 16 refrigeration engineer apprentices each year, with the first group of apprentices joining the company later this month.
They will complete the NVQ 3 in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning and gain experience of a wide range of different types of work through service postings across the company’s branch network.
Sam Newman, WR Refrigeration’s Human Resources Manager, said: “We are very excited to be introducing this national scheme and have been encouraged by the number of individuals applying for apprenticeships.”
She added: “We believe in investing in future talent, and instilling our mission and values into apprentices. It will help foster a progressive culture and help the company achieve its strategy, as well as becoming an employer of choice.”
WR Refrigeration is also extending the apprenticeship scheme to other disciplines within the company. It is introducing three Business Administration (Intermediate Diploma) Apprenticeships and three Customer Service (NVQ 2 and / or 3) Apprenticeships, with new recruits taking up their positions later this month.
Work-based learning, managed by PERA training, will ensure there is little or no disruption to the apprentices’ working day, while they undertake the learning required.
Mike Nicholas, WR Refrigeration’s managing director, said: “We are proud of and ambitious for our trainees. It is our aim to have apprentices represent WR Refrigeration at major events such as the World Skills competition in the future.”
He added: “Apprentices are our future and companies that fail to employ apprentices do not have a long term business strategy. It can be a challenge to employ apprentices in a tough economic climate. However, apprentices are an investment, and those companies that make smart investments during an economic downturn are the ones that emerge the strongest when the marketplace improves.”