Halfords launched its first pilot traineeship programme in 2014 in Oxford, Reading, High Wycombe, Liverpool and Manchester. Eighteen of its first 29 trainees progressed into a permanent job. Since then, Halfords has rolled out its traineeships across its 465 stores.
The traineeship programme is part of Halfords’ approach to recruiting young people. It offers opportunities to candidates and ensures a regular intake of loyal staff.
“Traineeships are a great win-win for us,” says Marsha Myles, group apprenticeship & traineeship manager at Halfords. “We have recognised that a trainee who progresses into a permanent role is tremendously loyal. It gives candidates the opportunity to see what it is really like to work for us – as a result we have greatly improved our retention rate.
“We only take unemployed or those not in education or training, so it’s one way that Halfords gives back to the community.”
Halfords runs three cohorts of assessment days per year, taking place all over England. The company works with local Jobcentres and its preferred training providers Ingeus and Work Ready People to source candidates.
The traineeships are typically nine weeks in duration. Trainees have the possibility to progress to an apprenticeship with a permanent job and are given the chance to enter a competition to design new products. They are taught a Retail Level 1 certificate and receive get an employability qualification. If necessary, they may also be taught English and Maths. The majority of Halfords trainees have progressed to apprenticeships or permanent jobs.
“The traineeship has really helped change my life. Working at Halfords for several months has boosted my self-esteem,” says Kane Smith, who works at the Halfords Oxford Cowley store. “Not only has my confidence increased but I have gained new qualifications and skills. I have learned how to repair and service my new mountain bike and feel more than capable of helping to solve all manner of customer queries.”
Traineeships have quickly become central to the company’s recruitment initiatives and Halfords plans to maintain and grow the scheme into the future.
Traineeships are a new government programme designed to prepare young people for their future careers by helping them to become work ready. They provide the work preparation training, English and Maths skills and the essential work experience needed to get an apprenticeship or other job.
If you are interested in finding out more about employing trainees and the benefits they can bring to a business like Halfords, please complete the enquiry form. For information on traineeships please visit greatbusiness.gov.uk/traineeships or call the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600