Every business is responsible for its people. This is especially true for those joining the organisation for the first time, and even more so for those who are in the early stages of their occupational careers. There are many documented ways to support early career development: apprenticeship, internship and learning and development programmes are some of the most popular options for employers.

Organisations should be both willing and excited about opening their doors to the next generation and the recent apprenticeship levy should help with this. It should encourage businesses to proactively assess where training is necessary if they’re to make the most of the new talent entering the market. If you’re aiming to attract the best of the available talent, you need to give people something to get excited about – something to motivate, inspire and encourage them to move forward in their chosen career of choice. Businesses have a responsibility to offer young people and entry-level candidates a progression path – not only because doing so will help the overall employment landscape, but also because an influx of new people means an influx of new ideas. The name of the game is innovation, and it’s crucial to the continuing success of any organisation.

At Servest, we’ve been backing the idea of providing apprenticeship schemes, long before the recent government apprenticeship levy, we call it our Hidden Talent programme. Apprenticeships are a key part of the UK economy and the levy should improve the prospects for young people entering employment. What’s more, the ongoing focus on apprenticeships should help refresh the approach to learning and career development, which will be of benefit to both our current and future colleagues.

Our Future Leader programme has evolved over the years. In 2016, the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) accredited our Future Leader programme, which allows us to offer an L&D programme that encourages individuals to start a career in facilities management while they study towards a degree level qualification. We pride ourselves on delivering the highest standards of learning and development and the ILM framework ensures there is a solid pathway of progression for those selected. Last month, we celebrated the graduation of our very first Future Leaders. These talented individuals have spent the last two years preparing to take on a management role in the company. Having worked in various support functions and having gained hands-on experience in every operational division, the next generation of leaders have acquired the skills necessary to excel in their chosen careers.

Since Servest has implemented an array of L&D initiatives, the business has seen an increase in internal promotions and movement, up by 20%. A case in point that nurturing internal talent can improve both turnover rates and business performance. Our employees are more likely to be engaged if we, as employers, are invested in their development. This goes back to the basic principal of making sure people feel valued and that their ideas are listened to and taken seriously. Offering people a chance to be able to carve out a career for themselves is the best way to inspire and motivate the lifeblood of your business.

In the bid to attract and retain talent, focusing on internal learning and development is essential to stay ahead of the game and help the business flourish. Such L&D provisions will also ensure that people have a proper sense of what it means to belong to a company. Business leaders and HRs that are keen to attract and nurture talent should not only offer a clear progression path and a variety of L&D programmes to support the early stages of career development, but they should also give choice to individuals about what, when and how they learn. Creating a learning culture driven by the individuals will turbocharge your business. In a world where young people are faced with many options and different paths, it is important to offer guidance and opportunity. Encouraging young people to try out different roles through schemes can no doubt help with this endeavour.





Lisa Hamill is Head of Talent at Servest.