As National Apprenticeship Week 2016 gets underway, one local organisation which recognises the value of the modern apprenticeship scheme is the Student Loans Company (SLC).
The SLC, which administers student loans on behalf of the Government, first welcomed apprentices at its offices at Lingfield Point office four years ago and continues today.
SLC’s apprenticeship programme was developed in partnership with Darlington College and gives young people with an interest in business finance, access to real on-the job learning as they work towards an NVQ qualification.
Jonathan Gent, Student Finance England Pre-Assessment Manager, who helped bring the scheme to SLC in Darlington in 2012 said:
“Our apprentices benefit from a structured support mechanism as they rotate around various teams. We then work with the individual to identify their skill set and provide them with appropriate opportunities to develop their skills in that area and get the most out of their experience with us.”
Today, 56 young people working with SLC in Darlington started their career on an apprenticeship.
Jonathan continued: “We had 15 apprentices last year that we were able to offer fixed term contracts and four have since gone on to take up permanent positions with us. As an employer we want to allow people to develop their potential, no matter what route they come through when they join us. So whether someone joins us on a permanent role, a fixed term contract role, an agency role, or an apprenticeship role; we invest in that individual, develop them, and try to retain them where we can.”
SLC is a committed supporter of the Darlington Cares and Foundation for Jobs initiatives, to help and support young people gain employability skills and experience an office environment.
Rising star: Natasha Holland (left) is now a full-time employee at SLC in Darlington. Pictured with her mentor Emma Taylor.