Newbury Park training company helping raw recruits up the career ladder

Apprentices can add value to a business, according to the founder of a Newbury Park training company that delivers a government scheme in Redbridge.

HDS Services, which has its head office and training centre in Tring Close, matches 16 to 24-year-olds with companies and provides the raw recruits with the training that could lead to a full-time job.

The scheme also improves the employability of the young person, according to Carol Powell, 55, who set up a homecare business in 1994 before branching out into other training areas apart from health and social care in 2003.

She said: “If they come to an interview with a degree or A-levels and another person’s got that and a year’s work experience, and the diploma and the BTEC [qualification], you’ll take the person with all the other bits and pieces.”

The government’s backing of private companies through the National Apprenticeship Service has come under scrutiny with a BBC Panorama programme earlier in the year alleging poor training and a lack of inspections was taking place in the industry.

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But Ms Powell, who admits there are “a few rogue companies”, said HDS Services is certified with Edexcel and other bodies and is inspected twice yearly.

She guarantees apprentices will be with a company for a full year which can lead to a part-time or full-time role.

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Though there is no guarantee of a job, she said HDS will help with a candidate’s job search.

She said: “Businesses are struggling with austerity and this is giving a young person the opportunity to have some work experience and add value to the business.”

Small to medium-sized companies can get �1,500 grants for taking on an apprentice, who works four days a week, with the other day taken up in guided learning, also funded by the government.

The employee gets �95 a week and earns a BTEC and diploma qualification.

Last week Ms Powell placed two women with Tish Press and Co accountants in Cambridge Park, Wanstead, to run its reception and post room and she takes on apprentices herself with HDS and with its homecare and domestic service.

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