Location - Essendon
Established in 1993, Nicholas Mee & Co is recognised worldwide as a specialist in the sale and servicing of Aston Martin cars. After 25 years of operation in London, Nicholas Mee & Co relocated to historic listed buildings, newly reconstructed specifically for their needs, near Essendon, Hertfordshire.
Following the move and the need to recruit skilled and talented individuals into the business, the management team decided to investigate the opportunities available to recruit through offering an apprenticeship position.
In June 2018, Andrea Davies, the HR and Finance Administrator, attended an event held by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise ‘Apprenticeships Work’. Following this, the business arranged a meeting with Herts Growth Hub Skills Adviser, Caroline Cartwright, to talk through the full journey to employing an apprentice. They discussed the difficulties employers face sourcing the right staff for their business especially in this climate of low unemployment. Nicholas Mee & Co were committed to putting a lot of resource into the recruitment process to ensure they found the right candidate.
Caroline recommended a number of providers to Nicholas Mee & Co and referred the organisation to the Heritage Skills Academy, an apprenticeship provider that specialises in teaching the skills required to preserve and restore Pre-war and Post-war engineering heritage.
Andrea and Chris Green, the Workshop Manager, visited the Heritage Skills Academy to view their facilities, meet tutors, and speak with existing apprentices. A draft job spec and company information was sent to the Heritage Skills Academy, who drew up job adverts and posters. The apprenticeship vacancy was posted on the national apprenticeship website, UCAS website and other suitable publications in the classic motor industry. To support finding candidates, Nicholas Mee & Co also promoted the position via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and forwarded all direct enquiries onto the provider.
Once suitable applicants were identified, they were reviewed by the management team and shortlisted to attend an Open Day with their parents/guardians. Successful candidates were then invited for a trial day in workshop and formal interviews were conducted; reviewed by the management team and lead technician.
Although time-intensive, the process Nicholas Mee & Co went through to find the right apprentice was invaluable to ensure that they found the most suited candidate for their business, and also enabled the new recruit to experience the organisation’s environment and understand what the role entailed.
Nicholas Mee & Co were also able to take advantage of the Hertfordshire Growth Hub £1500 Apprenticeship Incentive grant, which they invested back into the training budget to support the technical training requirements of the motor vehicle technicians.
Andrea Davies “ This is the first apprenticeship scheme offered by Nicholas Mee & Co and a considered approach was vital for both the company and potential apprentices. A thorough, four-stage evaluation process was followed and we were very impressed with the high quality of applicants. After much deliberation, we handpicked a candidate who is already showing huge potential and will hopefully become a highly valued member of our team for many years to come. We are grateful to Herts Growth Hub and Heritage Skills Academy for their help and advice throughout this journey. Overall, we are very pleased with the outcome and look forward to repeating the process in 2019.”