George Halls Cycle Centre is an independent cycle shop with a reputation for their vast knowledge, low prices and excellent customer service.
How did you hear about the Harborough District Apprenticeship Grant?
A Market Harborough Chamber of Trade & Commerce meeting
Have you employed apprentices in the past?
Yes, I have ran 5 through apprenticeships with 4 completing.
How did you find the process of hiring an apprentice through the scheme?
Luckily this time the apprentice came to me looking for a position.
What did you benefit from this experience, employing an apprentice and what they brought to the team/ your business?
Previously I have always done well with apprentices. All but one have continued with employment here. The 5th left of his own accord, saying he fell out of love repairing bicycles. They have all brought different aspects to the business, as 2 of them I can through a workshop apprenticeship and the other 2 through a retail management one.
Do you feel that recruiting apprentices is an effective way to build a workforce with skills that meet the needs of the business?
Yes, providing the apprentice likes what they are doing and are willing to learn. You can mould an apprentice into the way you do business or do certain things. Occasionally they might even surprise you with a good idea or suggestion.
Did you find it to be an effective / cost-effective form of training?
The fact you can get a grant to help, yes, especially as I pay above the recommended minimum wages. When I have employed under 18’s as an apprentice, everything was paid for, but the couple I have had to pay for, you hope you will get value for money and in the long term that employee and what they bring to the business will eventually pay for themselves.
Would you feel confident to take on more apprentices in the future / would you recommend the scheme to other businesses?
Yes and Yes
If you were looking to take on apprentices in the future, do you feel you could benefit from having a closer relationship with local schools as a means of matching school leavers’ skills to the business?
Because cycling and cycle shops are more of a lifestyle than a career it is hard to say.