Apprenticeships key part of core business strategy at award finalist Mitel

Posted on by karen.smith

Liz Watts gyda phrentisiaid Mitel.

Mitel’s regional services manager Liz Watts with some of the company’s apprentices.

The competitive and growing world of business communications, collaboration software and services means Caldicot-based Mitel must recruit and retain staff who know the sector and customers well.

The Nasdaq quoted company is in contention to win a major award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2015. Mitel is one of three finalists in the Large Employer of the Year category at the high profile awards ceremony to be held at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Thursday, October 29.

The coveted awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have exceeded expectations, shown a dynamic approach to training and demonstrated initiative, enterprise, innovation, creativity and commitment to the improvement of skills development for the Welsh economy.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and media partner is Media Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Mitel has more than 60 million users in 100 countries, is the market share leader in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is a recognised leader in unified communications.

The majority of the company’s 340 employees are at its regional headquarters in South Wales where it provides technical assistance to customers and partners.

Mitel began its Apprenticeship programme in 2007 and currently employs five apprentices, all of whom have been taken on in the past year. The company recruits and trains apprentices within its customer services division to plug the skills gap, training young people with no previous technical skills.
Current apprentices focus on IT technical support and follow the IT Telecoms and Professional Apprenticeship framework.

“Our Apprenticeship programme is an integral part to Mitel’s core strategy, which is linked to growing our cloud business and business in the contact centre market,” said Tim Gwatkin, human resources manager.

“We had been finding it increasingly difficult to find candidates with the right mix of technical skills in addition to the ability to effectively support and interact with customers.”

Working with training provider Acorn Learning Solutions, the company has developed an effective two-year Apprenticeship programme.

“The Apprenticeship programme gives young people the opportunity to develop their skills within the IT sector and in return they add real value to the business,” said Sean Driscoll, corporate development manager at Acorn Learning Solutions.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Julie James congratulated Mitel and the other 36 award finalists. “We have some truly exceptional apprentices here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements,” she said.

“Equally important are the training providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their apprentices. Developing skilled young people is vital for our economy. The Welsh Government is committed to training programmes such as Apprenticeships but investment must be a shared responsibility with the education sector, businesses and individuals.”

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