Feature: recruitment in Wales

Maria Larcombe, our Director of Operations (South) recently spoke to Recruitment Grapevine and revealed why recruiters should pay special attention to the forthcoming Apprenticeship Levy. 

What sectors does Acorn specialise in?

Acorn, Wales' largest recruitment agency, specialises in a range of sectors such as IT and digital, executive search, legal, nursing, commercial, construction, technical and engineering, industrial and driving, as well as delivering bespoke training programmes and apprenticeships.

I've been with the company over 19 years starting with the business as a temporary receptionist and I now, as a regional Director of Operations lead a number of the group's key accounts, including for Panasonic and ABInBev. 

What issue is the recruitment industry in Wales facing at the moment?

Skill shortages are potentially the biggest issue currently facing the Welsh recruitment industry. We need to act now. To play our part as a leading recruiter, we have introduced a number of initiatives across the company, such as our IT Bootcamps programme, a fast-track course aimed at STEM graduates, giving them the chance to land a Developer role in just six weeks.

Aside from the tech arena, we also launched In-site earlier this year - a forum for future construction skills. This forum has been devised so that key stakeholders and partners can join together to discuss potential solutions and collaborations to minimise the effects of the skill crisis within the construction industry.

Next year, the way the Government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. However, this change will impact on more than just English employers as the Apprenticeship Levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill of over £3 million each year, to make an investment in apprenticeships to the sum of 0.5% of their annual pay bill. As a leading recruitment agency with a dedicated division to training, the concern over what this levy will mean for apprenticeships is a big issue for the Welsh recruitment landscape. Apprenticeships offer businesses great opportunities to develop and retain new staff, as well as upskilling pre-existing staff. Companies need to start planning now. Our dedicated Training Advisors are already working hard to promote what the changes will mean for Wales via seminars and discussions with our clients. 

What does the future hold for Acorn?

Recruitment is the business of people and the future is all about growth - at Acorn, we are always taking on new clients, working with new people, founding new divisions and capitalising on an array of opportunities. There is never any let-up, which is just how we like it. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of the market and aim to provide value to both employers and jobseekers. 

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