On the up · 18 April 2016

LDN Group: Connecting London’s employers with young apprentices

Apprenticeships are an effective way of training young staff
Apprenticeships are an effective way of training young staff
Continuing to profile exciting companies in the small business space, we meet LDN Group a service delivering young apprentices to companies in London.

It’s all about supportingcapital’s young people by connecting with employers becoming more confident and fostering in them a culture of aspiration.

For the company’s CEO Simon Bozzoli, apprenticeships represent the best chance Britain has at narrowing its broadening skills gap, but more work needs to be done to define and implement a successful apprenticeships strategy.

there is a lot of hot air circulating about the so-called skills gap, said Bozzoli. it’s become a byword business owners use when talking about recruitment, but in reality if a company is looking for a skilled employee they can be found, just not necessarily in the UK.

firms can easily hire someone from another country with the right skills, but really the challenge for the UK is to fill the skills gap with British workers. it’s not easy to find people local to businesses that have relevant skills. School leavers arent trained and university leavers demand high salaries but don’t have exactly the right skills to hit the ground running in a role.

Businesses of all persuasions are increasingly turning to apprenticeship schemes to upskill potential new workers. Formally associated with tradesmen and blue-collar work, young apprentices are now being taken on by larger corporates in white-collar industries. Defining what an apprenticeship is in 2016 has therefore become a challenge in itself, and LDN Group works in part to distinguish the role of apprentices.

people confuse apprentices with interns, said Bozzoli. they’re completely different things. Apprentices have to be in work for 12 months or more to be paid a certain amount. They have to do a framework of qualifications.

people have a throwaway attitude to apprenticeships but we are aiming to change that. By entering into partnerships with companies rather than just acting as a recruitment service. What we aim to be is a company’s outsourced apprenticeship partner.

employers still need lots of support to help them appreciate that it’s not about hiring a completely competent person on day one. it’s about hiring someone who will become more competent as time goes on.

Have a look at how BozzolI got inspiration for his business, and how KPMG Small Business Accounting has helped out along the way.

Many employers don’t recognise what they need from an apprentice and BozzolI spends a lot of time educating companies about what the real requirements are. As such, he has shaped LDN Group to become a consultative service provider rather than a recruiter.

filling holes in companies? recruitment plans is not what were about. We want clients to plan carefully, use us as the apprenticeship partner and make sure we can support them appropriately during that period. It generally takes us a long time to get solid client relationships built up, BozzolI said.

One of the unique selling points of LDN Group when it comes to engaging young apprenticesis the up close and personal nature of its service. BozzolI regularly talks at London schools, colleges and universities, whilst LDN Group hosts events, talks and enrichment sessions where candidates get to meet employers face-to-face. Regular boot camps? also prepare young people for meetings and job interviews.



Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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