Luxury made-to-measure footwear, John Lobb Ltd.
For the past century and a half the Lobb family have crafted some of the world’s finest footwear.
John Lobb Ltd. was a pilot company in QEST’s Apprenticeship Scheme, taking on two apprentices with the help of QEST funding.
“Quite simply companies have no choice but to invest in apprentices. You are preserving your company for the next generation.” You are investing in succession.
Learning a skilled craft takes many years. Apprentices learn by seeing and by doing. They inevitably make mistakes, and learn from them.
QEST John Lobb Apprentice, Parham Alizadeh started off as a complete novice. Within a year the company was already seeing a return on their investment as Parham was making mock-ups for customers. Parham hugely benefited from the first-hand nature of the apprenticeship, enabling him to hone his skills quickly and become an invaluable member of the team.
Bespoke Tailors, Anderson & Sheppard
John Hitchcock, retired Director of Anderson & Sheppard, is an enthusiastic advocate for apprentices, maybe because he once was one.
John started off as a complete beginner in the workshop at the age of 16. He painstakingly dedicated himself to his trade, and in 1983 was rewarded by his appointment as company Director.
Anderson & Sheppard purposefully choose to employ apprentices without any previous training to ensure the legacy of their bespoke “Anderson & Sheppard way”.
It is this investment in a steady stream of apprentices, coupled with their unfaltering loyalty, which has helped sustain the original elegance and the unique style of the company.
QEST has partnered with a select few charities across the UK to create a pool of suitable apprenticeship candidates, individuals who are 16-25 year olds, some of whom may come from disadvantaged backgrounds, but who are keen, reliable and committed long-term.
Each charity will provide support for both the apprentice and the company throughout the entirety of the apprenticeship (if you feel it appropriate).
All of the above features aim to reduce the risks of employment “drop-out rates” as far as possible. Proven by one of QEST’s charity partners, City Gateway, which has an impressive 95% retention rate for the apprentices they place.
These charity partners are listed under the “charity partners” tab.
Research has also proven that very slight salary increases throughout the apprenticeship can help keep an apprentice engaged, increasing retention rates. A slight salary increase every 6 months gives the apprentice a benchmark to work towards, an incentive to work hard.
With this support system put in place, and getting the whole company behind the apprenticeship, you are working together for the good of the apprentice, giving him/her every chance of success.
The apprenticeship should be a mutual fit. It is just as much the apprentice’s decision to work for you as it is your decision to employ them.
It is suggested that:
It is suggested that you sign an apprenticeship agreement with your apprentice. This is essentially a contract of employment.
Research has proven that this increases the success rates of an apprenticeship partnership as both groups are fully aware of what the apprenticeship involves and are both committing to a successful working relationship.
The apprenticeship agreement gives details of what you agree to do for the apprentice. This includes:
You can write your own apprentice agreement or download the government’s apprenticeship agreement template.