Finding and training your future stars

For Infinis, succession planning is a key motivation behind apprenticeship recruitment

6 years ago Infinis were introduced to Starting Off through our sister company ACS Recruitment. Since then, Infinis have embraced the apprenticeship scheme fully and currently employ 3 apprentices that are working out very well for the business. Infinis was established in 2006 and has grown rapidly since. They are a power generation business, with three core revenue streams: landfill gas, coal mine methane and power response, with 161 sites across the UK.

Starting Off visited the Infinis Headquarters on Brackmills Industrial Estate to find what Head of HR John Okninski and the apprentices Laura, Pamela and Jack had to say themselves about apprenticeships and Starting Off – (let's hopes its nice!)

Laura came to Starting Off after embarking on a degree in Accounting and Finance at University. She had called in to see us when she was home after deciding university life and the course was not for her. As a recruiter, I remember instantly warming to Laura and talking about our National Trust memberships! Laura was shortlisted for a HR and Health and Safety apprenticeship with Infinis and got the job. She feels her confidence has developed in her time as an apprentice and overall the main benefit had been learning on the job. Laura is a highly valued member of both the HR and wider Infinis team and is now going on to complete a CIPD foundation degree in HR with Infinis.

Pam is someone whose original goals and aspirations were geared towards a career in Medicine. However, half way through her A-Levels, she decided university wasn’t the route she wanted to take so began looking at other options, one of those being Starting Off. After having looked at the variety of job roles and courses available with Starting Off, she became interested in an Apprenticeship working in Finance at Infinis. She began working for the company in April 2017 and soon found out that she was pregnant with a little girl! She was able to go on maternity leave and return to work in August this year and has since picked up where she left off with her studies, Level 3 AAT. Pam’s 5 Year Goal is to gain a number of accountancy qualifications and experience within the Finance Sector and grow together with Infinis!

Jack applied for the role at Infinis though the government National Apprenticeship Website and was directed to Starting Off as the training provider looking after the role. When I first met Jack I remember thinking how mature he was for 17 and instantly knew he would be great for Infinis. Jack secured an apprenticeship as an Executive Administrator. In this role he supports the Senior Management Team (the leadership team of 9, consisting of the Chief Executive, Board Directors and other Heads of Department) with everything from accommodation booking to organising conferences and exhibitions. Initially Jack had a place deferred at university after achieving A levels, however after experiencing the benefits of learning on the job he doesn’t see university as necessary. Jack feels the recruitment process with Staring Off was outstanding – two days after registering he had been offered the job!

John is the Head of HR at Infinis and from my perspective is the ideal client to work with when recruiting apprentices; he believes in the programme and is willing and open to see the potential in apprentices. John has been impressed with the maturity of the candidates. They are work ready individuals that other staff members have come to rely on. One member of staff that was uncomfortable taking holiday due to the impact on the business is now happy to do so as he can leave an apprentice to look after his critical tasks! John has found the Staring Off team to be approachable, friendly and flexible; listening to the company requirements and finding the right candidates for the job. John feels that a key benefit and motivation for the business is training up and moulding staff with the potential to be a part of the leadership team of the future.

As an apprenticeship levy business, Infinis can now really focus on thinking about succession planning and shaping their business for years to come. In all likelihood, the apprentices of today will become the leaders of tomorrow.