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January saw Autonet Insurance launch their first eighteen week traineeship program, which will see eleven trainees aged 16 to 24 prepare for their future careers. The program will provide career opportunities in all aspects of the insurance industry alongside workplace training, key skills development and recognised Maths and English Qualifications. Upon successful completion the trainees will be offered an apprenticeship at Autonet Insurance and if they choose, a permanent career within the company.

The traineeship, which has been funded by the government, is being provided and delivered by the Learning and Development team which is overseen by the Head of, Karen Hancox-Barringer and supported by the 700 plus employees at the Burslem based office. The team will provide the essential work preparation, training and work experience needed with the aim of helping the trainees’ progression to an apprenticeship or sustainable job.

Phase 1 of the trainees’ journey will last eight weeks and will see them learn valuable pre-employment skills such as CV writing and interview skills, and they will be given the opportunity to gain recognised English and Maths qualifications. After this they will then progress on to the next phase in which they are able to work within their chosen area, whether this is to join the fast paced environment of the Sales teams or the challenging but rewarding Customer service areas.

A representative from Babington Business College said: “Babington Group has been delivering Traineeships very successfully for young people aged 16-24 since the government launched the programme 18 months ago. Autonet, in partnership with Babington have put together a traineeship program, which gives the young people of Stoke the opportunity to develop their skills and gain experience in the customer service or sales area of the business with an offer of an apprenticeship after the 18 week program”.

Upon completion of the traineeship program, all applicants will be given the opportunity to be interviewed for a 12 month apprenticeship. Once the trainees have successfully completed their apprenticeship in their chosen area, they will then be given the opportunity to progress through Autonet’s grading structure and become a permanent member of the Autonet family. From here, they can still continue to study by completing their financial services qualifications at level 2 and an IF1 exam.

Ian Donaldson Managing Director of Autonet Insurance said: “We are delighted to partner with Babington Business College and provide young people in the local area with a promising career in the insurance industry.  Unlike other programs our traineeship offers individuals the opportunity to progress onto the apprenticeship and gain a permanent role.  Trainees do not need prior experience or qualifications – we provide those, all we ask for is passion and determination to want to progress.

We have always been passionate about employing young talent and our aim as an employer in the local area is to provide the future workforce of our company with expert training, skills and confidence needed to achieve and secure a better future.”

It’s not all work and no play for the trainees either. Whilst on their placements, they will also be involved in team building events which have been specifically designed and developed with incentives such as winning a new Samsung Galaxy phone.

Ofsted will inspect the training providers who are delivering Traineeships for the entire training delivery of that organisation. Once they have finished inspecting a training provider they will publically release their inspection report. Their inspection covers everything from quality of teaching and learning, quality of placement to management of data.

One of the trainees Daniel Ashman added: “The reason I wanted to start the traineeship is to learn new skills to enable me to develop a career. I know sometimes in life you have up’s and down’s but you have to believe in yourself and show people what you are made of. Autonet have helped me to accomplish this. Everyone who works at Autonet is supportive, caring and show their dedication to the company. I would like to say thank you to Autonet and all of their staff for supporting me and helping me to develop my career.”

Daniels Father, Darren Ashman, supported his son and is happy with Daniels progress so far: “I am very impressed with the traineeship and very pleased with what I’ve heard today.”

Dominic Stingas Paczko, Operations manager from Babington Business College also attended, and had this to say about the success of the programme so far: “The key for us is that the organisation delivering the program is really involved too. We’ve worked with a number of companies but Autonet have certainly been the one that have shown the most interest in helping to develop young people to work and that’s key to us because we know this program is going to be a success. Additionally when this program is a success there will be more people following them which will keep this program running and will continue to help the local area and reduce youth unemployment. These guys are just the first of hopefully many who will come in and successfully create a career for themselves.”