Ryan Venner, 23, is the Sales and Marketing Director at Premier Jobs UK based at Fourbrooks Business Park, Calne. Premier Jobs UK specialise in recruitment for financial services. Having started his career as an apprentice we spoke to him before he embarks on his Masters in Business Management via the apprenticeship route.
What was your School experience like – did you always plan to take the apprenticeship route?
I completed my GCSE’s with great grades, then went onto Sixth Form, but I was disengaged by Christmas and wanted to leave. Throughout Year 12, I didn’t know what career I wanted to do and couldn’t see the benefit of going to university to later find my passion and be stuck in a non-relevant degree. After talking to my parents and the School we agreed I would stick it out until the summer so I could get my AS levels.
When faced with the decision of what to do next, I wanted to combine my passion for starting a career with an opportunity to continue with education and ultimately achieve my degree. I sourced a week’s work experience within a recruitment agency. It was a busy day and the phone was ringing, with nobody available to answer, I picked up the call and decided in that moment I wanted to work here, I find recruitment interesting, rewarding and challenging. As a result, it was discussed with the Directors of how I could join through an apprenticeship and ended up being the first individual in the Country to complete Level 4 Diplomas in Recruitment and Management, before going on to complete my Level 5 Diploma in Leadership.
What have your main roles been since starting in the company?
Since joining Premier Jobs UK in 2013, my duties have always been varied with the main theme of enabling business growth. Within the first month, I took on the duty for writing each job advert, over time this responsibility increased with focus on revitalising our IT systems (having overseen the creation of 4 websites and an App since joining!) and improving the business efficiency, all while maintaining involvement in the recruitment activity.
In 2016, my duties took a major step up as I bought out the shareholding of a retiring Director. As a result, my duties advanced to taking on a key position within the company to lead the experienced team of Financial Services Recruitment Consultants and become the direct line manager for our apprentices. My daily duties now see my providing hands-on support to the full team of 15, to maximise everyone’s full potential; maintaining close relationships with our 400 clients and undertaking various projects to keep the business at the fore-front of the industry.
What myths would you dispel about apprenticeships?
I didn’t realise how far you can go with an apprenticeship; in January 2020 I will be starting my Masters at the University of Gloucestershire! When I was at School, apprenticeships were typically for those seeking a trade such as plumbing, electricians and hairdressing… but 6 years later I think perception is changing. From my personal experience as both an apprentice and manager, I would highly recommend those considering an apprenticeship should put their full effort into it because it is surprising how much you can get out – apprenticeships are about creating your career as you go along.
Not only are you a past apprentice but now a recruiting manager can you tell us why apprenticeships are important to your business?
Apprenticeships are massively important to the Premier Jobs UK team, as the program enables us to train good people from scratch which is tailored to our business in a practical way, whilst giving the apprentices the technical training they need. Our head office staff have all started from apprenticeships. They are the first point of contact with candidates and clients, they are responsible for reviewing candidate’s CV’s and actively head hunting. They also keep our systems and CRM up to date.
My advice to other employers would be to have a training and development plan in place and give as much support and guidance as possible to apprentices, their skills and knowledge are there to be developed. Also, my advice would be to provide context to why and how you make decisions. It is important you help them understand why you do things you do so they know for the future; this helps them build their own initiative in problem solving.
Premier Jobs UK continue to recruit apprentices so keep an eye on their social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) and website for vacancies.