Selecting your apprentice
Designing a recruitment process that will deliver the right people for your apprenticeship scheme.
Your application form should enable you to screen applicants for the skills, experience and attributes that you are looking for. Make sure that people can register their interest throughout the year and let them know when the application window opens. Take up references for essential information such as attendance, punctuality, roles and responsibilities.
Literacy and numeracy testing
Having screened the application forms, you could invite people to attend a literacy and numeracy testing session. A basic level of literacy and numeracy is essential to success on the programme and the results of these tests will help you to produce an interview shortlist. Colleges require applicants to pass screening tests in numeracy and literacy before being accepted onto the programme.
Some applicants may have the right skills and experience but fail to meet the literacy and numeracy standards. In these cases, you could encourage the applicant to develop their skills by taking a Level 1 qualification and then apply again next time. Employers have been known to put in considerable effort to coaching suitable, but non-academic, apprentices to pass the tests. Read about Kirklees Council’s support for literacy and numeracy skills development.
The interview stage is a chance for you to assess the applicant’s skills and experience against the selection criteria. It is a good idea to include time spent in your parks and with other members of your team. This should be separate to the assessment process and is especially important if you are not planning to offer work experience to potential recruits.
Some organisations arrange work experience placements for shortlisted apprentices. This helps both sides to be sure that they’re making the right decision for them: the apprentice develops a better understanding of what the role involves, while the organisation sees how the apprentice takes to the job and fits in with the wider team. It is also a good opportunity to get feedback from the potential recruit on how they view the work situation. Read about work experience in the Plymouth Council apprenticeship scheme.
Information for applicants
Ensure that all applicants have clear information about what the apprenticeship involves, their terms and conditions of employment. You also need to make sure applicants have a chance to ask questions, although none of this should be part of the assessment process.
Learning from good practice
Kirklees Council created a training programme for applicants who just missed out in their apprenticeship selection process, helping them to develop the skills they need to become an apprentice or find other employment in the sector.