RAC provide new routes for youth unemployment

L to R: Alex Tidmarsh, Lorraine Hodgkins, Jo Kerr, Michael Stead, Matthew Wood,

RAC, a name synonymous with the world of motoring, has developed a new business venture focusing on providing more opportunities for young adults,which it has piloted in Walsall. As one of the largest private employers in the area, the company felt tackling the growing youth unemployment problem was important. RAC developed a new initiative to specifically recruit Apprentices to its business, working alongside Intec Business Colleges, who currently provide the RAC’s staff NVQ training.

“We have done a lot with NVQs to develop our colleagues already,” explained Alistair McMillan from RAC. “We saw an opportunity, as one of the largest private employers in Walsall, to help tackle the growing youth unemployment problem within our locality and also as part of an ongoing strategy to train and develop a pipeline of fully trained staff for our call centres.”

The RAC used the Intec Recruitment Service as it provided an efficient way of screening candidates and supporting the business in getting the right people straight to interview. RAC has been working with Intec for a number of years and using its Recruitment Service was an obvious decision. “By building on our existing relationship it has made the process a lot easier and very timely. The interest that we received for the Apprenticeship positions was overwhelming and Intec supported us in getting the right people to the interview stages,” continued Mr McMillan.

The response the RAC received to the positions available highlighted that there is a need for businesses to provide these kinds of opportunities. Apprentices were taken on in the Walsall Call Centre at the beginning of the year and following the success of this, RAC are now rolling out the programme to its Stretford site.

“This new business venture really is a two way street. We are supporting the development of young adults in the local areas of our sites and building up their key skills with training. Apprentices have a 12-month fixed term contract and then at the end of that time we have trained up staff ready to fill any vacancies we have at that point. If there are no vacancies at that particular time we have still provided these Apprentices with solid work experience, customer service skills and qualifications, which they can use to secure future employment.”

“It was important that as a major employer that we did something. Providing we have the capacity, it is our intention that we will continue with the programme into the future.”