This week we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2022, an annual week-long event that celebrates apprenticeships.

At Dataplan, we are committed to 'growing our own, ' which means that we are always looking for strategies and pathways we can use to support the growth and development of our in-house talent. We believe that some of the invaluable qualities that make a fantastic payroll professional cannot be learned, such as being passionate about what we do and striving to build strong relationships, which is why our approach is to recruit future payroll heroes, whether they are career starters or switchers.

All we need is someone who has those hero qualities and wants to learn, and when joining us, we embark on a journey to teach them everything they need to know about the world of payroll. One tool that has been particularly helpful in doing this is apprenticeships.

Why take on payroll apprentices?

We can dip into a larger talent pool instead of focusing solely on qualified payroll professionals by taking on apprentices. The Payroll Apprenticeship lasts 18 months. In the end, each apprentice receives a qualification equivalent to the CIPP Level 3 Payroll Technician Certificate, which is the minimum standard that we set for all of our people.

This allows us to build a team of skilled professionals in-house and ensure they are trained to our standards whilst also providing a young person with career opportunities and a pathway into the payroll industry.

What do our departments think?

At Dataplan, we have been lucky to recruit apprentices across several area, including our Corporate, Education and Projects departments.

Speaking to people within the teams, it is clear that recruiting apprentices has been a huge success. Adam Sheard, a Senior Project Manager, commented, "having an apprentice within our team instantly provide the support we needed." He continued, "our apprentice was able to pick up some of the basic tasks straight away, and longer-term through training and support, she will gain the skills she needs to take on more complex tasks.”

Nicola Denison, Head of Education, added, "the introduction of apprentices onto our team has been an incredibly positive experience. The apprentices have been able to support the team with some of the more basic tasks allowing other team members to concentrate on the more complex aspects of payroll." Nicola loves the fresh viewpoint they bring to the team, saying, "their new perspective and ideas have been a welcome contribution to the department, and I look forward to seeing them reach their full potential – they are a real asset to the team!"

Wendy Bagnall, Head of Corporate, echoed Adam and Nicola's statements. Wendy said, "it's nice to see when they have come with no knowledge, and they finally know exactly what they are doing and become independent." She continued, "We've had some fantastic apprentices. It's great that they come in as a blank canvas, and we can train them exactly as we want."

A word from our Director of People and Quality, Elaine Gibson

“I don’t know many people who take up payroll as a choice of career, it tends to find you, but for most, when it does, it grabs you and can be a brilliant choice of career.”

At Dataplan, as well as our Career Switch strategy, we decided to offer apprenticeships as a route into a Payroll Career pathway, and we were surprised to attract a varied age range. This shows that apprenticeships are not just for those about to leave school or college. 

Offering Apprenticeships has meant we have attracted a great range of transferable skills and knowledge. This form of recruitment has definitely proven to be a success, and has been helped by the level of internal support the individuals receive.”

Written by Rachel Cooke
Published on February 8, 2022

Dataplan are one of the UK’s leading providers of specialist payroll and associated services.

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