We’re looking forward to welcoming our first cohort of four apprentices in September this year. Since our announcement the team and I have been to various events, notably several at Manchester Metropolitan University, where we met hundreds of school and college leavers, whilst wearing our distinctive pink (yes, pink!) DCC hoodies.
The application process has now closed, and for the four apprenticeship positions we have attracted 223 applications - a response that far exceeds our original expectations. Now, we’ve got the hard task of whittling this down to just four – but we’re all agreed this is a good problem to have.
What stood out for me, is how applicants had found out about us and the opportunity. Let’s say this: Google remains king! It’s also testament to the fact that we’ve worked hard not just on positioning DCC as a great place to work, but on actually being one. We were particularly encouraged by our People Survey results this year. 82% of our people – that’s 460 colleagues -- took part in that survey. 90% say they feel proud to work for DCC. 97% of our people understand our vision and purpose, and 96% understand how they contribute to the success of our business. That’s the kind of workplace our new apprentices will be part of, and we can’t wait to have them join us!
Our candidate assessment centre will now be virtual, and we are working on a number of digital solutions. We’re really looking for enthusiasm and willingness to learn, along with how we can provide opportunities to those from the communities we serve.
The scheme itself is a Level 6 (degree level) apprenticeship in Digital and Technology and is a four year programme. First year entrants will do six two-month placements in various areas, from Security to our Operations Centre to IT architecture, to see the wide span that technology entails, before they choose their pathway for the second and subsequent years.
This is a really exciting development for DCC to be working with local people, building links to the community and working again with a local University (we already collaborate with Salford University who have an excellent smart metering lab).
I wish any candidates going for a place on our Apprenticeship Scheme the very best of luck.