Bluecube Specialist Apprenticeships
The growth encountered by Bluecube led to a recruitment drive to hire people to join their administration, cyber security, configuration, and helpdesk teams. The team realised that the talent and skills shortage was even greater, and a different hiring approach was needed.
Rob Gilbride, Head of Talent Development, explains how they tackled their recruitment challenge: “To deal with our rapid growth and ongoing hiring needs, we decided that apprenticeships would provide the best medium to long term solution for our business. Apprenticeships offered us access to fresh talent and structured industry-led training.”
In September 2021, Bluecube started working with MK College Group and its further and higher education establishments, MK College and South Central Institute of Technology (SCIoT), to deliver a range of specialist apprenticeships.
Rob continued: “So far, we’ve recruited 18 apprentices through our partnership with MK College Group, and we have more roles in the pipeline; we plan to take on over 40 apprentices in the next 12 months. The expertise and support of the College’s industry-experienced teams have been invaluable to the success of our apprenticeship programme.” Rob, continued: “We’ve not only attracted young talent but also people who wanted to retrain. Our hires have included a former science teacher and an ex-chef.” Bluecube has invested in wraparound support and training for their apprentices, who gain experience across the business by rotating across the below teams:
• IT System Configuration and Builds
• Cyber Security and Crisis Response
• Service Desk
• Onsite Support
Additionally, their apprentices have access to mental wellbeing support and mentoring, and access to internal training focused on developing professional workplace skills in areas such as:
• Written and verbal communications
• Emotional intelligence
• Office systems
Bluecube’s long-term approach to talent development has positively impacted its people and the wider business; Rob Gilbride comments:
“Apprenticeships have been essential for our business; they have provided a sustainable way to attract and nurture talent, address the skills shortage, boost staff morale and fuel company growth.”
Rob added: “Our apprentices love that they can try different areas to find out what work they enjoy doing. And, our teams see that our approach to talent development has resulted in progression for our existing staff. It was one of the best decisions we made in 2021.”
The partnership with Bluecube has evolved to offer more opportunities to the communities we serve. In March 2022, Bluecube exhibited
at the MK College Group Careers Fair attended by residents from YMCA MK, local schools, and MK College and South Central IoT learners.
Anna Clarke, Group Director of Employer Engagement and Partnerships, said: “Our strong relationship with Bluecube is an example of what can happen when business and education come together to tackle industry and society-wide issues. “We can create further opportunities for people from underrepresented groups and support businesses to overcome their skills shortages. Apprenticeships play a vital role in addressing both of these areas, and in turn, they contribute to business success and the economy.”