Paragon Customer Communications (PCC), the UK provider of end-to-end omnichannel services for marketing, transactional, operational and workplace solutions, has launched its flagship UK-wide apprenticeship programme, named Ignite, following a successful 12-month pilot.
Mason Kane, one of the first apprentices on the Ignite scheme, on site at Paragon Customer Communication’s Dagenham facility.
While more than 60% of employers in England were forced to abandon on-the-job training schemes in the past year, according to educational charity The Sutton Trust, PCC is bucking the trend with plans to roll its Ignite programme out across its production sites throughout the UK.
The scheme provides opportunities for talented individuals to forge a career in the communications industry, developing key skills in print, digital marketing, warehouse management, litho print, print finishing and engineering.
Initially deployed at PCC’s Dagenham site, the five-year programme is designed to create pathways for young, talented individuals to further their education and grow with the business throughout the scheme.
Ignite apprentices undertake an initial 10-week rotation, working across the business production areas including digital print, goods in, machine enclosing and general admin roles, preparing participants for the evolving environment of the communications industry before embarking on the multi-year programme.
As a business PCC continues to invest in people, and the Ignite apprenticeship scheme is central to this philosophy, giving candidates the opportunity to progress within the business, whilst also developing new skills.
PCC already has 60 apprentices participating in various schemes across UK sites, however, Ignite will become the company’s flagship programme, consolidating all on-the-job training into a single, market-leading scheme.
The Ignite programme forms an integral part of PCC’s corporate sustainability and people strategy, which plays a critical role in ensuring the company creates a progressive, supportive and healthy working environment.
It is just one of the many creative initiatives coming out of PCC, a global organisation that has recently become The HomeServe Foundation’s first strategic partner during national apprentice week.
The HomeServe Foundation is the not-for-profit arm of leading home repairs company HomeServe Plc, established with a clear vision to dramatically increase the number of apprentices in the UK.
As part of the new groundbreaking partnership, PCC and The HomeServe Foundation will work together on a number of key initiatives, supporting the Foundation’s vision of investment in skills through apprenticeships to aid the UK’s economic recovery.
PCC now has a number of key frameworks in place to encourage leadership through social values throughout the industry. These include the Young Paragon Network, which encourages talented individuals from all Paragon sites internationally to work collaboratively to tackle business challenges, as well as the Quantum Leadership Group which brings together senior leaders to help integrate business and facilitate positive change.
While the company’s Inclusion Council, with representation from different backgrounds, helps to manage the diversity process, and attract people within minority and low social mobility groups who might not consider communications as a career and those looking to build one.
Alison Jackson, Head of HR for PCC’s Transactional & Service Divisions, said: “As a business we are extremely pleased to see apprentices are grabbing the opportunities presented to them with both hands, and enjoying considerable success by advancing along their career paths with extra training to get the certifications needed to progress within the last year.
“We strongly believe our partnership with The HomeServe Foundation will allow us to nurture and grow more young talent within the business moving forward, providing us with the tools and resources that will help us through every step of employing a vibrant community of apprentices.”
PCC leaders joined Helen Booth, director of The HomeServe Foundation in the House of Lords on Wednesday 10 February as The Foundation presented the findings of its first quarterly research report into UK domestic trades skills (LINK) to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships.