Yvonne Foster, Lotus HR

Yvonne Foster, Lotus HR

Using your resources wisely

Young people’s fresh ideas are valuable assets to employers, says HR director Yvonne Foster

Apprenticeships open doors for young people to take a different route to learning and crafting their future careers. Apprenticeships also provide invaluable opportunities for businesses to harness young talent by bringing fresh ideas into their operations.

I have a strong HR, learning and talent development background. My PhD thesis focused on the hurdles young people have to navigate in their transition from school to work. I closely analysed the post-school decisions taken by young people and where these decisions lead them. Many young people lamented the lack of opportunity to earn and learn.

I am extremely pleased that apprenticeships have evolved since the days when they were deemed to be purely for trades. The sheer breadth of apprenticeships offered is fantastic.

Young people now have an opportunity to take a different path to develop the skills employers are eager to see in their business, and to carve out the future they want. Historically, those that have chosen not to, or have been unable to take the university route, have been done a great disservice; they have been prevented from building relevant skills, skills that employers want and value due to poorly funded vocational learning. With apprenticeships, the tide has definitely turned in favour of those who want to earn and learn.

Yvonne Foster’s company, Lotus HR, has worked with a variety of employers to beat the apprenticeship drum. She recently worked with a local council who made a bold commitment to lead by example, offering 100 apprenticeship places for young people in the borough.
The first phase of the programme was successfully implemented and resulted in the appointment of the first 20 apprentices and a seamless handover to a newly appointed programme co-ordinator.
The programme was a huge success, and there are now 60 apprentices employed by the council offering life-changing on-the-job learning and development.
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