As a recruitment agency and online training provider that specialises in the KBB and construction industries, Simon Acres Group Limited is committed to breaking down the barriers to hiring apprentices. Vital information and advice is shared in its brand new Movers & Shakers video interview with Angela Borman, Chairperson of the East Midlands Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (EMAAN).

As part of the journey to make apprenticeships more accessible, Simon Acres Group has been working closely with the EMAAN to outline the solutions to cultivate and drive an experienced, knowledgeable and skilled workforce.

The EMAAN is a group of employers, as well as former and current apprentices, who volunteer their time to encourage more employers to invest in high-quality apprenticeships, while inspiring young people to pursue an apprenticeship*. Simon Acres Group’s very own apprentice, Kieran Carroll, attended the recent EMAAN roundtable event to represent the construction industry, and now the group has unveiled its video with Angela Borman, which is full of information and guidance for businesses considering hiring an apprentice.

With over 37 years of experience in learning, professional development and apprenticeships, Angela explains that the best way to hire an apprentice easily and successfully is to seek a reputable training provider. This is either a college or local organisation (or sometimes national) that will drawdown the public funding to enable the delivery of apprenticeships. They are responsible for working with the employer to find the right apprenticeship standard, supporting the employer to recruit the apprentice and helping the employer (particularly small businesses) to access the funding that is available.

Angela recommends the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education website as a great resource for researching the apprenticeship standards available that are relevant to your business. This website then links to to help you find apprenticeship training providers that deliver your chosen standard. For example, if you type ‘kitchen designer’ into the ‘Apprenticeship search’ on the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education website, relevant apprenticeship standards will show. This includes the Fitted Furniture Design Technician (FFDT) level three apprenticeship standard, which is particularly sought after by independent kitchen specialists.

A FFDT apprentice will develop the skillset to liaise directly with customers, installation and supply teams. The apprentice will then progress to manage projects from design through to installation. Simon Acres is currently completing a level three Independent Assessor qualification. Once qualified, Simon Acres Group will be able to end point assess standards for Trade Supplier level two, Fitted Furniture Design Technician level three and Fitted Furniture Installer level two apprenticeships.

Angela Borman, Chairperson, East Midlands Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, says: “Choosing a training provider should always be the first step for companies that want to hire an apprentice. One of the main barriers identified to hiring an apprentice is that businesses haven’t got time. A training provider will help you advertise your apprentice role and support you with finding the right candidate. They can also help you identify the correct apprenticeship standard for the role you want to fulfil, if you aren’t already sure. Once the apprentice is in place, the training provider will develop a training plan to support the employer.”

Simon Acres, Managing Director, Simon Acres Group Limited, adds: “In light of a recent survey, and comments by organisations in the KBB industry, which highlight the problems retailers are having with apprenticeships, our Movers & Shakers video, in conjunction with the EMAAN, shares advice and is available for everyone to access.

“I strongly encourage any business considering hiring an apprentice to watch our video with Angela Borman. It covers the barriers that we identified to hiring apprentices and details the solutions available. Hiring an apprentice is a viable option in the KBB and construction industries, bringing enthusiasm and fresh, new ideas to the workforce.”

Watch the ‘Movers & Shakers with Angela Borman’ video here:

For more information or to discuss your options for hiring an apprentice, contact Simon Acres Group on 0203 701 6660 or email To find out more about Simon Acres Group and the services it provides, visit the website: