Sheffield firm launches drive to recruit 60 apprentices

Knowhow's Sheffield contact centre head Jason Roberts.
Knowhow's Sheffield contact centre head Jason Roberts.
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A Sheffield company hopes to put scores of people to work after launching a recruitment drive.

Knowhow is hunting for 60 apprentices to join its workforce of 1,350.

Knowhow's Sheffield contact centre. Photo: Polly A Baldwin

Knowhow's Sheffield contact centre. Photo: Polly A Baldwin

The company is the outward-facing services brand of retailer Dixons, and wants to take on the apprentices for its customer service, inbound sales and technical support divisions.

Recruitment will run through August and September led by The Source Skills Academy at Meadowhall, which will tutor successful applicants towards a Level 2 Apprenticeship qualification.

Knowhow contact centre head Jason Roberts, who began his career as a 16-year-old apprentice, said: “This is the peak time of year for people who are unsure about their next direction in life.

“We can get them into a supportive work team and give them a work-based education with a guaranteed job after 12 months if they have delivered quality and commitment and gained their qualifications.

“There are real career prospects at the end of it – successful apprentices could move into other departments, or work towards management.”

Knowhow’s contact centre in Nunnery Square began investing in apprentices in 2010. Its 2013 programme for more than 45 apprentices, run with the Source Skills Academy, won Newcomer Large Employer of the Year title in the 2014 Yorkshire and Humberside National Apprentice Awards.

Apprenticeships have now become ‘fundamental’ to operations.

“They have enabled us to grow our own talent, which has had a positive effect on our workforce and our customers, and enabled us to start changing the perception of contact centre work as a stop-gap job,” said Jason.

Franca Kelly is a team leader at The Source Skills Academy. She said: “Knowhow are a fantastic employer of apprentices, they provide on-going pastoral support and a number of progression opportunities which have seen former apprentices’ achieve frontline management positions.”