What makes an AWESOME Apprentice?

What makes an AWESOME Apprentice?

When you hire an apprentice you are not hiring skills.

You are not hiring someone that you can rely on for their Excel abilities, for their ability to write great sales copy or for their fantastic C# coding skills.

What you are hiring is a blank canvas.

You are hiring someone who has made the decision with their life to get out into the world of work and DO IT!

“You are hiring someone who has made the decision with their life to get out into the world of work and DO IT! “

You can shape them, guide them, pick them up when they fall and help them create something incredible.

And what do we look for from our budding apprentices for our apprenticeship programmes?

Trust me we don’t test their Excel skills!

What we do look for is EEWAP (Energy, Enthusiasm, Willingness to learn, Ability to take feedback and Propensity to TAKE ACTION).  The best apprentices turn up to work everyday, with a notebook and pen and take notes, they ask questions and they grow.

The best apprentices can inspire through their energy and enthusiasm, making the whole company sit up that bit straighter and take notice.

The best apprentices can remind us all what it was like in our first role when we didn’t know anything and all we had was our youthful positivity and work ethic to see us through.

“The apprentices in my team, remind me everyday of why I do what I do. They inspire me to inspire more businesses to invest in youth.”

The apprentices in my team, remind me everyday of why I do what I do.

They inspire me to inspire more businesses to invest in youth.

They inspire me to inspire managers to make the decision no matter how hard it might be, to invest their time in someone who will pay you back in effortenthusiasm and loyalty.

Why we don’t use CVs for Apprentices.

Why we don’t use CVs for Apprentices.

When we first start working with clients they invariably ask us to send over CVs of some of the young people we are working with.

However many are surprised when I have to share the fact with them that WE DON’T USE CVS!

What we have found after seeing hundreds and hundreds of young people’s CVs is that are next to useless when it comes to determining whether they are going to be a success as an apprentice.

We have had terrible CVs that have ended being great apprentices and really great CVs that have simply been a disaster.

This really hit home for me when we sent a selection of our prescreened candidates to a recruitment company looking to hire some apprentices and they rejected ALL of them at CV stage.

What were they expecting to see? 

And the great thing about that situation was we eventually hired one of those CVs for the LDN Group (they were fantastic – lots of energy and enthusiasm!), and all the other candidates went on to other businesses to complete successful apprenticeships.

We made the decision that we were not going to use CVs anymore.

So how do we introduce our employers to their future apprentices?

All of our employers come in for our Career Kickstarters to actually meet our young people and make decisions that way. This has lead to much happier clients and young people being assessed on their potential for growth and EEWAP rather than an archaic not fit for purpose CV that does neither manager or candidate any good when it comes to finding the best match.

And now we work with forward facing businesses who are looking to strategically use the apprenticeship model to hire stars of the future and support them in their development. Rather than working with businesses who are simply using the apprenticeship model to hire cheap labour based on their current skills.

Who do you think are going to succeed as businesses going forward in a world where young people have more and more choice of where to use their skills?

What common expectations do people have in your business or sector that you have rejected?  

How to think about your PERSONAL BRAND when you start a new job

We have a brand new cohort of AWESOME Tech City Stars Apprentices starting with us today.

After demonstrating their EEWAP through our assessment process and impressing their new employers at a Career Kickstarter last year.

From numerous Work Trials, they are now ready to start their apprenticeship.

The next stage of their careers!

What now?

In my opinion, they have a great opportunity to position themselves in their new role and start building their personal brand that will serve them for years to come.

Whenever you start a new job, join a new group or just meet someone for the first time you go in with a blank slate – especially as an apprentice, people have very few expectations.

You can create your personal brand from scratch!

Who do you want to be known as?

“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”  Jeff Bezos

People are treated differently based on their personal brand, and once that brand is set it is difficult to change!

Your manager and team will support or manage you differently and the perception of management will be affected greatly by people’s perception of you.

So write down your goals or what you want people to think about you and take action to make them a reality.

We have defined an AWESOME apprentice as someone the demonstrates EEWAP (Energy, Enthusiasm, Willingness to learn, Ability to take feedback and Propensity to TAKE ACTION).

We ask all of our apprentices, employers and staff to think about this everyday.

What a great brand to be known as; someone with great EEWAP.

Have you thought about your personal brand recently?

Who do you think that you are known as in your company?

Who do you want to be known as?

TAKE ACTION!

You don’t train attitudes, you have to hire them . . . #EEWAP

I am sure that you have discussed in your workplace about people with a good attitude. And I am sure that you have heard the phrase:

“You don’t train attitudes, you have to hire them”  Richard Branson

We have all heard it but what do we mean when we say attitude!?

It seems such a throwaway attribute.

At LDN Group we have spent some time thinking about what kind of attitude we are really looking for.

And we look for it in all our prospective applicants, clients and team members.

We have an awesome acronym that we use to remember what attitudes we are looking for… EEWAP

Energy

That palpable feeling that you get when you sit down with someone. In almost every interaction that you have with someone there is an energy exchange – we are looking for people that bring the energy!

Enthusiasm

Often confused with energy; this is the focus and awareness of people towards whatever situation they find themselves in. Are they cognisant of the opportunity of working with us? Or with our clients? That’s the enthusiasm would want to see.

Willingness To Learn

The best people LOVE Learning and building their skills. As soon as you think you know everything you have lost. We want people turning up with a notebook, taking notes, asking questions and relishing the opportunity to continue their learning and development with us as a training provider sure but also with our clients who love learning just as much as we do!

Ability To Take Feedback

Be prepared and enjoy the feedback you receive. We encourage full 360 feedback. A lot of young people it is claimed by Simon Sinek struggle with feedback (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hER0Qp6QJNU). We want people that can take it, learn from it and then … (See below)

Propensity To TAKE ACTION

Probably the most important part of EEWAP! What’s the point of Energy, Enthusiasm, Willingness to learn or Ability to take feedback if you don’t then apply it! We want people that take action, learn and then take action again. We want forward thinking clients that create a culture of action where it’s staff can use its own initiative safe in the knowledge there won’t be any repercussions.

If you think you have EEWAP as a young person, client, member of staff we would love to hear from you!

You are the kind of person that we want to speak to everyday!! 🙂

The Secret Sauce to Securing an Apprenticeship…

We are inundated with young people looking to start an apprenticeship with Tech City Stars or Future LDN.

We get over 300 applications a month!

And what do the best applicants do to secure themselves an apprenticeship with one of our employers?

Do they have oodles of skills? NO

Do they have lots of work experience? NO

Do they have a CV? NO

The best applicants come in pen in hand, and they TAKE NOTES & ASK QUESTIONS!

This simple yet effective skill shows us and prospective employers that the young person has EEWAP*!

I can’t tell you where I’d be if I hadn’t had a pen on hand to write down my ideas (or more importantly, other people’s) as soon as they came to me. Some of Virgin’s most successful companies have been born from random moments – if we hadn’t opened our notebooks, they would never have happened. Richard Branson

How many of us when we hire an experienced member of staff wish that they ask better questions, and actually take notes when learning or talking to someone?

We encourage all of our candidates to take this approach when they get the opportunity to go out for work trials and our employers know to look for their notebook and pen!

If you don’t know what questions to ask here are some basic examples that you can apply to almost any situation:

  • What do you do and how is that measured?
  • Why is that important?
  • Why do you do it that way?
  • What steps do you need to take to do that?
  • What are the biggest problems that you encounter day to day?

These should give you ample room for discussion and really get under the skin of someone’s role or what a company does.

And it’s such as simple determinator of success.

IF you take notes and ask questions you WILL be a great apprentice.

IF you don’t take notes or ask questions . . . well you are going to struggle.

As a skill, this is something that all of us need to be aware of and practice everyday.

Not just for our own knowledge**, but it makes the person teaching you realise that you are a worthwhile investment.

It will impact your personal brand in the office by showing other people that you are interested and willing to learn.

What are the best questions that you use day to day?

Do you take notes in your job?

And if so how do you organise them?

*EEWAP – Energy, Enthusiasm, Willingness to learn, Ability to take feedback and Propensity to TAKE ACTION.

**Research backs this up. Howe in 1970 found that students who had taken notes were 7 times more likely to remember facts a week later than those who had not. https://www.ericdigests.org/pre-929/note.htm