Ventro Group

In October 2016, Ventro took on their very first apprentice Jake Eames, who at the age of 17 was placed on a one-year apprenticeship scheme with Ventro, landing himself a full-time job following the successful completion of his apprenticeship four-months early.

Ventro Group launched their very own apprenticeship scheme in October 2016 alongside Skills Group. The apprenticeship scheme was run and supported by Skills Group who partner with local employers like Ventro to help kick-start careers and ensure business success.

With over 25 years’ experience in delivering apprenticeships and career development programmes across the South West and with a success rate of 90.7% in the South West alone, Skills Group were the perfect recruitment partner for Ventro.

We took the time to chat with Jake to find out all about his apprenticeship. Hopefully Jake will be able to help spark interest in other young people who may be stuck at a crossroads or be facing the same decisions as Jake into whether studying at university is the right pathway for them.

Tell us about yourself, Jake:

“When I started my apprenticeship scheme, I was only 17-years old. I was at a crossroads to whether I should go to university as that was what all my mates were doing. Being in a school-type environment did not really bring out the best in me.

In my own time, I like to play football and go out with my mates.”

How did you find out about the apprenticeship at Ventro?

“I was looking online when I came across the position being advertised on the Skills Group website. I never really thought about doing an apprenticeship, but I love working and I thought to myself that working and learning on the job would be a much closer fit for me.”

What was the process of getting onto the apprenticeship scheme?

“Skills Group invited me for an initial meeting to gain information in relation to my ambitions, skills and interests. They then researched and found several companies that they felt most suited me based on the information they had.

They then passed these companies to me to decide which ones I could see myself working for. Skills Group approached several companies on behalf of me. They then invited me to attend an interview.

I was then successfully placed with Ventro on a one-year apprenticeship scheme becoming Ventro’s very first apprentice which was cool.”

What would you say your biggest challenge was during your apprenticeship?

“There were several challenges I faced as would anyone who first starts a job, especially as this was my first real full-time role after finishing school.

I felt that I had an increased pressure to deliver. Not only did I have my own expectations and goals to meet, but I had the expectations from Skills Group and the demands of Ventro.

Another challenge of mine was the mammoth task I was set by Ventro to get simPRO set up for the company. This was a new CRM software Ventro had planned to set-up months before the start of my apprenticeship scheme.

As this was already a goal of the company, I felt that it was down to me to make it work which is a lot of pressure for a seventeen-year-old.”

What would you say was or were your biggest achievements?

“Of course, I would have to say that my biggest achievement was to successfully set up the simPRO software. Not only did I set up the software, I was responsible for training key team members on using the software. I am now the Ventro simPRO ambassador (thanks to Nicki, has a nice ring to it).

Another achievement for myself was the fact that I was able to successfully balance my coursework with working life. Having come straight from school, it took me some time to get used to, especially the early 7 am starts. During my apprenticeship, I set aside time each week to complete some of my coursework and to finish set tasks. To review my progress, Skills Group tracked my performance through their online training platform ‘OneFile’, which I used daily to manage work, tasks, and to arrange meetings with my Skills Group advisor.

Finally, having finished my apprenticeship four-months early was a big achievement for me and not to mention getting offered a full-time position as Ventro’s Healthcheck Manager.”

What skills have you learnt?

“I would say that I have learnt a lot during the 12 months. I have learnt skills such as time management, project management, relationship building, as well as building up my confidence skills.

I have learnt a lot of technical skills to do with passive fire safety through the range of projects I have worked on. Fire Sprinklers, Cladding, Fire Doors, Fire Stopping, Fire Dampers, all areas that were completely new to me.

Through successfully completing my apprenticeship, I have achieved an NVQ Level 2 in Business which is a life-long qualification.”

Were there any highlights during your apprenticeship?

“It was great working with such an awesome team. I have made some amazing memories and have made some life-long colleagues. I even met the Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer who came to the new office in support of the apprenticeship scheme.

I have worked on some great projects, including a project for Southampton Football Club, which considering I am an avid football fan, this was pretty awesome to be able to say.”

What’s next for you Jake?

“I was lucky to have been offered the full-time role as a Healthcheck Manager, so that will keep me very busy. I am already managing a team of 5 surveyors based in the UK.

I will now be working towards my Level 5 Diploma for Leaders and Managers which I can apply for after 12 months in my new role.”

Since the successful completion of Jakes apprenticeship, Ventro has taken on two more apprentices, Ellie and Lauren from Plymouth. Through the expansion of Ventro’s new head office in Plymouth, they have been able to offer new opportunities for young people in the area.

If you would like to know more about Ventro or would like to know how you could work for one of the leading passive fire companies in the UK, head to our careers page where you can get all of the latest updates.

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