For Shaun Bisset, owner of Ferry Plumbing & Heating Ltd in Dundee, taking on an apprentice was something that he always wanted to do. However as a sole trader it can be challenging to find the right young person to bring into your company.

Instead of the traditional advert in the paper, or online advertising, Shaun decided to take a different approach to his recruitment of a young apprentice, which involved working closely with DYW Dundee and Angus and Dundee & Angus College.

The inspiration for this different approach came from Shaun attending the Dundee & Angus DYW launch event. He heard about various large and small businesses who had employed young people. They described the enormous benefits that taking on a young person had given their organisation.

One of the key themes from the event was working collaboratively with different agencies and partners to achieve common goals, most importantly to provide employment opportunities locally for young people.

This led to him working with staff from D&A College’s Building Services Department, who recommended 4 current students as potential candidates for Shaun to interview. The 4 students had a working trial with Shaun, where he assessed their approach, their ability to follow instructions and learn quickly. One of the key aspects for Shaun was that the apprentice aligned with company values of high quality and customer service.

The successful candidate was Shaun Berry, 16, from Dundee. He really impressed throughout his working interview and was delighted to be offered a full time apprenticeship. Shaun’s Grandad was a plumber and he had gained experience working with him from a young age, and his passion was to follow in his grandad’s footsteps. This is the first step of what he hopes will be a successful career in the trade and he is delighted to be working with Shaun and learning every day.

As Shaun Bisset explains, “Working with DYW and Dundee & Angus College to recruit Shaun has been an excellent experience and I can’t thank them enough. Being able to tap into their knowledge of the most suitable students was invaluable as it reduced the need for me to place expensive adverts, sift through countless CV’s and take valuable time away from work to interview candidates. Hopefully in the next couple of years I will be able to recruit another apprentice and I would definitely recommend this approach to any small business considering recruiting a young person.”