Mark Stapleton – Case Study

Owner of Console Wizard

consoleAfter working for Hewlett Packard for 22 years, I set up my own business ‘Console Wizard’ in 2008. We repair, maintain and upgrade games consoles, laptops, computers and Apple products including Iphones and Ipads from our on site workshop in Bolton.

Coming from a background in engineering and electronics and having also completed an Apprenticeship myself, as the business began to grow I knew that I would need to employ more staff. I felt that recruiting Apprentices would be the best route for the business as they would be keen to learn, enthusiastic and I would be able to teach them from scratch.

When I made the decision to recruit two apprentices for my business, I contacted the National Apprenticeship helpline, I explained to the helpline that I required two apprentices, but was unsure of the recruitment process etc. The helpline explained that they would take all of the details and pass my information onto a local company that would be able to manage this process for me.

I shortly received a telephone call from Louise O’Toole at STEGTA who introduced herself and STEGTA. Louise explained the whole process and setup advertisements for the two vacancies on The National Apprenticeship website and STEGTA’s website. Applications went directly to STEGTA and Louise managed all of the received applications, filtering the most suitable candidates for the Interview process. STEGTA even held first line interviews with the candidates to ensure compatibility to the role and to ensure that the candidates would be suitable. This meant that I only interviewed the most likely applicants

I eventually recruited 2 Apprentices who are currently studying Level 3 Extended Diploma in Electrical / Electronic Engineering. The varied nature of their job role means that not only are they repairing the consoles to component level but also dealing with customers face to face, via telephone and also through our online chat room and the social media networks. This has also given them chance to improve their communication and customer service skills.

Employing 2 Apprentices has injected some youth into the business and as the vast majority of our clients tend to be young people, they naturally gravitate towards the Apprentices for assistance. With the skills they are learning in the work place combined with the theoretical knowledge they are picking up on their day release, the Apprentices are able to provide a professional service from start to finish under my supervision.

I cannot stress how impressed I was with STEGTA as they not only found two excellent candidates for the two vacancies, but they managed the whole process, taking a vast majority of the work load from myself.

With myself starting my working career as an apprentice, I compare the management of the apprentices training, etc that I received many years ago, again STEGTA have excelled in this process. The apprentices receive monthly review meetings at our premises with their Training Officer Andrea Roberts. This allows STEGTA to ensure that the apprentices are happy in their new roles, are meeting the academic requirements of the NVQ and to discuss or highlight any concerns that arose from the one to one meetings.

I personally want to sincerely thank Louise and Andrea and STEGTA for all of their help, professionalism and support throughout the whole process.