Hand Picked support FES apprentice recruitment for fourth year in a row.

Hand Picked support FES apprentice recruitment for fourth year in a row.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

At Hand Picked from CR Smith, we work to get as many young people into employment as possible by helping them understand exactly what employers are looking for. To do this we partner with a variety of companies including building service solutions company FES, which we have now been working with for the past four years.

This month, we completed two Hand Picked Academies at the FES training facility in Stirling. The academies teach a young person about the jobs and skills required by businesses and how they should market themselves to prospective employers. What makes the course stand out is that it provides candidates with honest, robust feedback while giving them new insights and experiences of what it means to get a job and more importantly keep a job.

Following the FES Hand Picked Academies, a number of the candidates will be taken on as apprentices within the firm. For those that don’t go on to become FES apprentices, they leave the course with greater skills and confidence to help them compete in the jobs market.

Speaking to former participants, the benefits of the Hand Picked Academy were clear as it gave them a head start when applying for their desired roles.

Ruairi Gallagher, a former Hand Picked Academy graduate, said:

“Hand Picked definitely helped me. I was 17 when I took part back in 2017. It helped me balance out my options and gave me the information I needed on the industry. I thought FES only did two trades but from this I saw there were a whole range of trades available that I was unaware of.

“The most helpful part was the hands-on day in the workshop. I had the chance to try out different activities, seeing where my strengths were and was given the opportunity to find out what I actually preferred. There was a PowerPoint presentation afterwards which helped me choose which trade to get into. I’m now half way through my Heating Engineering Apprenticeship and looking forward to my future career.”

Declan Wood took part in the Hand Picked Academy a couple of years ago and is currently an Electrical Apprentice at FES. He added:

“I was lucky enough to be in a position where I knew what I wanted to do, I just wasn’t sure how to get there.

“The most helpful part of the course for me, was the mock interview and CV analysis. I went in thinking I was already the bee’s knees but got some insightful feedback on my CV and how to improve it.  I’m two years into my apprenticeship now and it’s flown in, I can still remember the academy and the learnings from it, so it’s definitely doing something right.”

When speaking to FES on the collaboration with Hand Picked, Robert Wood, Contracts Director at FES, said:

“FES is a company based in Stirling which is proud to do its part to help local schools and their young people as they go out into the workplace. We see the Hand Picked Academies as a good platform to help bridge the gap between school and starting work. It is our way of giving back to the community where we are based to assist its young people with the Academies which are dynamic, pro-active and extremely professional.”

“We now recruit a third of our apprentices through delivery of this course, however the main benefit we see is that all candidates walk away from the experience with newly found skills that make them visibly confident in themselves as they seek employment.” 

Pauline McGeevor, Hand Picked Project Manager added:

“We work with like-minded employers who are prepared to step up and willing to take
responsibility for Scotland’s future workforce, and our Academies are entirely focused on supporting young people into jobs.

“FES has been a great partner and we are delighted to be working with them for a fourth successive year to provide a positive kick-start to the working lives of young people in the local community.”

The Hand Picked Academies are open to 16-24 year olds who are actively seeking employment and it is the only employability programme of its kind run by private business. Set up by CR Smith boss, Gerard Eadie CBE, last year we supported more than 80 youngsters into employment and helped many more gain the necessary CV and interview skills they will need to get onto the careers ladder.