Successful estate agents rely on a strong foundation of support delivered by administrative staff. More employers in this sector are turning to Apprenticeships in business administration as a way of developing skilled personnel to underpin their organisation’s administrative function. The beauty of Apprenticeships is that they are tailored to meet individual company’s requirements – so the employer has an input into the design and delivery of apprentices’ training. This means that the recruits develop in ways to suit the company’s way of working. In turn this fosters productivity as well as staff loyalty and retention.
tpm supports several estate agents in Liverpool City Region with the recruitment and training of administrative staff through Apprenticeships, simultaneously helping local young people start careers in the sector. Our extensive experience means we know which key skills these employers look for in new staff – this helps us identify suitable individuals for interview and design training programmes to ensure success for individuals and businesses.
An Apprenticeship in business administration is flexible with a small core of mandatory study units. The rest of the course is made up of optional units which are selected so they are relevant to the employer’s workplace and to the recruit’s aspirations. tpm tutors coach the apprentice so they fit into the working environment and develop the skills needed to carry out the tasks they are required to perform at work.
Six Professional Skills
Here are 6 skills and personal qualities amongst many that tpm helps apprentices develop for administrative positions in estate agents:
1. Customer service skills
Some apprentice positions involve working on reception. This means greeting clients in a polite and friendly manner and handling face to face enquiries effectively. It helps if an apprentice has a natural desire to help people but tpm can help an individual develop customer focus by including an optional unit on customer service in their training programme. If an apprentice is handling phone calls, their Apprenticeship programme can be designed to include a unit on screening calls.
2. Attention to detail
This is the ability to perform a task carefully and thoroughly so there is little chance of error. Following processes correctly, making sure spelling and grammar is correct, and hitting deadlines are all ways of ensuring attention to detail. Developing this skill features in many units of the business administration Apprenticeship and tpm coach apprentices to continually improve in this area.
3. Communication skills
Communication skills are important in any job and consequently feature heavily in the Apprenticeship syllabus. This skillset includes writing and speaking in a clear way so people understand. It also includes listening properly to avoid misunderstanding. Body language is also important – an open friendly but professional stance for example, and making sure lots of eye contact is made.
Estate agents are busy environments. An apprentice’s presence is welcomed as an extra pair of hands to pick up particular jobs allowing more experienced staff to deal with pressing matters. This means that apprentices will be asked to do a variety of tasks – a flexible attitude will really help, as will a willingness to learn, to work with a team as well as on their own. Few recruits get things right first time; tpm will liaise with the employer to ensure the apprentice’s training programme has covered the skills they need for any new tasks that come up.
One thing to be sure of is that an apprentice in any administrative position will be expected to file and retrieve documents on a regular basis. This can be both manual and electronic files. An organised, systematic approach is required to filing related tasks which is why a whole unit is dedicated to this on the Apprenticeship. This ensures the apprentice has the right skills and the confidence to carry out tasks. Filing is an optional unit on the Apprenticeship which many employers prioritise.
Being able to use technology and specific software packages is a key requirement for people working in administration roles. tpm will support apprentices to become skilled in the use of industry standard IT applications, which will allow them to write letters or emails, create proposals, perform financial processes, record and analyse data. Many apprentices are also taught how to use in-house company software by their employers. tpm builds this in to the apprentices’ training programme – this is just one example of how tpm will shape apprentices’ training programme to fit the requirements of the job.
Long term succession planning
Few apprentices will have all these skills from day one but tpm will assess recruits to ensure they have the potential and motivation to develop them over time with support from tutors. It’s important for employers to realise that the Apprenticeship programme isn’t designed to address short term staff shortages in the way that employing temporary staff through a recruitment agency would. Rather employers should see Apprenticeships as a mechanism for long term succession planning which allows them to grow talent in house, tailored to have the skills and attitudes required for their particular workplace.
Apprenticeships help employers engage new staff on a progression plan that could see them eventually develop a particular specialism within the organisation – finance, back office, front of house or marketing for example. Ongoing development through the Apprenticeship route can see an apprentice progress from level 2 intermediate to level 3 advanced and then through to higher level specialised Apprenticeships.
Recruit an apprentice
If you are looking to recruit an apprentice to support the administrative function in your organisation please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Become an apprentice
We currently have vacancies for apprentices in Liverpool City Region. If you have left school or are leaving this year and are interested in finding out more about Apprenticeships in this sector, please contact email@example.com