Every month, we put the spotlight on a member of the Parenta team. This time around, it’s our Recruitment Manager – Julie Allen. Julie’s team makes sure that school leavers receive the right support and guidance to enable them to find a suitable apprenticeship.
Readers may interact with Julie and her team if they have a vacancy within their setting for an apprentice and would like help to find a candidate who matches their requirements.
What’s your role within Parenta?
I’m the Recruitment Manager at Parenta Head Office. I’m responsible for the recruitment team who specialise in the sourcing and placing of 16-18-year-olds into work-based childcare and business administration apprenticeships.
In what kind of scenarios may our readers come into contact with you or your department?
If you were looking to expand your team by training an apprentice at your childcare setting or you’d like to train a business administrator, my team can certainly help. If you’re a young person aged below 19 looking at your options for compulsory education, we can inform you of the work-based apprenticeships we have in your area and assist you to get into work to ‘earn as you learn’. If you’re over the age of 19 and unsure of your options, we’ll also be able to offer you the guidance you need to become a work-based apprentice.
What support does Parenta provide for any learner we place and how often do they see their assessor?
From the moment the learner makes contact with Parenta, we aim to make the journey an easy one by providing them with all the knowledge and advice needed to ensure they can make the most of this amazing opportunity. Our recruitment executives will carry out mock interviews over the telephone to give them the very best chance of success at interview and keep in touch until their assessor makes contact. Learners have contact with their assessor around every 6-8 weeks and all their coursework is carried out online.
What do you find most rewarding about your role?
Making a difference, a genuine difference to a young person’s life! I’ve never worked anywhere that’s this rewarding – offering someone that life-changing first step on the career ladder no matter what their background, academic ability or experience. We’ve all been there looking for a job at 16 years old even if it’s part time, but you have no experience so no one will give you a chance. It’s a vicious circle. “How can I get the experience if no one gives me a chance to gain any?” We have the opposite belief, allowing learners to study whilst gaining work experience and, therefore, getting ahead of their peers who are classroom-based and gaining little or no work experience.
What kind of experience do you aim for apprentices/employers to have with Parenta?
An easy, open and knowledgeable journey that leads them to their chosen career whatever that may be.
How do you plan to take your team forward in terms of making improvements in 2018?
I want to make the journey ‘remarkable’ both for employers and for learners. Our service is completely free when we provide the learner’s training; we bear the costs as we know budgets are tight for settings. We want to speed up the process from application to enrolment by introducing electronic sign-up which should be ready early this year. We aim to be able to open this amazing work-based learning to more territories within the UK by increasing assessor capacity, allowing the recruitment team to enrol more young people onto the programme. This, in turn, will help managers across the UK staff their settings during this changeable time.
Tell us something about yourself which most people don’t know
Something that people may not know about me…I’m a qualified Stage and Screen Makeup Artist and dance teacher. Both of these avenues allow me to channel my creative side in a physical sense. I’ve done makeup for a few celebrities in my freelance days including Davina McCall (who was so lovely!). I’m married to a professional singer who has a following of his own and we have a beautiful 8-year-old daughter who spends all our money with her dancing, kickboxing and competitive cheerleading. Never a quiet moment in my world (both at work and home) but that’s exactly how I like it!