Why Appealing to the Next Generation of Potential Businesspeople is Crucial


Hi, I’m Kieran Johnstone, Worksmart’s new digital marketing apprentice, and I’ve been instructed to have a try at writing a blog. Hope you all enjoy my first attempt.

Speaking from my own personal experience, business was never very high on my list of potential careers when I first went to school. While a chef and social work were both considered, I never thought I would be writing this as an apprentice in digital marketing. However, through taking business studies for 3 years at school and watching TV programmes such as Dragons Den and the Apprentice, I gradually gained a love for all things business. But there’s a problem – so few young people follow this pattern. Business is not even considered by most of them, even though there are many bright prospects that can come from this career path. Here is a few ways businesses can appeal to the younger generation… from the younger generation.

  1. Go to schools – This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many businesses don’t even consider this. In my 6 years at school, I only remember there being 3 different careers fairs, showing that so many companies don’t even feel that this is a viable way to motivate the future workforce. One particular exception to this has been the armed forces, who have always been keen to employ the younger generation. Between 2010 and 2012, 83% of secondary schools were visited at least once by a branch of the armed forces. If several businesses in an area banded together, created a job fair and toured all schools in that area, we would have a more motivated and inspired workforce for years to come.
  1. Offer modern apprenticeships – While there are already approximately 25,000 modern apprenticeship taken in every year, a large majority of these are in the secondary sector i.e. firms that create products, such as engineering, mechanics or in Worksmart’s case, interior fit-out and refurbishment work. A large majority of apprentices also work in administration, which does give them some knowledge of business operations, however less than 1,000 apprentices were employed in an apprenticeship related to management in 2015. Worksmart currently employ six apprentices, mostly in the interior fit-outs side of Worksmart. These types of apprenticeships not only to help the organisations but allow the apprentices to develop skills such as leadership, which will greatly increase their chances of future employment, further strengthening the younger generation.
  1. Make your content appeal – By my own admission, I use social media too much. Most people my age do. We spend on average 9 hours a day on social media, an alarming statistic that most teenagers don’t realise. However, while social media has many alleged dangers, it can be a potential goldmine of opportunity for businesses. With most jobs nowadays being advertised online, companies can post links to apply for vacancies – especially those that relate to apprenticeships – on their social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, or perhaps use a paid advertisement targeted to this age demographic to ensure young people become customers that will potentially use your services again. Also, post on social media platforms that are aimed at this younger market in particular, such as Snapchat or Instagram to ensure the highest number of the future workforce see them.

So how does Worksmart help the young workforce? For starters, they employ many school-leaving apprentices, who have become valuable assets on our interior fit-out projects. These apprentices have the ability to work with equipment they wouldn’t normally use as apprentices such as specialist glazed partitioning. These are normally used by experienced contractors, which means that Worksmart are helping to give the refurbishment sector highly talented young interior contractors for years to come.

In conclusion, there is a growing need to begin to recognise the importance of developing the younger workforce – not just for an organisations benefit but also the apprentices. I encourage not just Worksmart, but all companies, to increase the number of apprenticeships they offer and help to give young people like myself the best start in their working life. I would highly recommend anyone spend their apprenticeship at Worksmart, as they have a passion for team working and are a dynamic, innovative leading company in the fit-out sector.



Building a sustainable Business in the East of Scotland


Since our inception in 2002 we have completed a number of interiors projects throughout the East of Scotland, but we recognised that in order to grow a sustainable business it was necessary to open an office in Edinburgh and recruit accordingly.
This vision came to life on 5th January 2016 and in just over a year our ambition for growth in Edinburgh has been fully vindicated. We have been fortunate enough to have been offered the opportunity to tender for some fantastic refurbishment projects and our conversion rate has been good which has enabled us to build a team of Contracts Managers, Site managers, Joiners, labourers and apprentices.

We have priced a wide variety of fit-out work covering all sectors, the length a breadth of Scotland and the UK and we are very grateful for the support and opportunities we have been afforded.
Interior fit-out can be a fickle business at times, you are regularly one project win away from a good quarter becoming great, which can prove a real challenge in managing resource. Our levels of repeat business has always been high and our newest office is confident of continuing this trend by developing strong relationships with property professionals and clients throughout Scotland.

With the latest Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Construction Market Survey, covering the fourth quarter of 2016, suggesting that business sentiment strengthened following a slump in confidence in the wake of Brexit, this surely has to be a good sign. However the report also acknowledges that ‘there remains some unease about access to skilled labour’ with skills shortages restricting companies growth. This is a real challenge we continually face when recruiting Surveyors and skilled tradesmen and one which we are meeting head on with the commitment and investment in our apprentices.
Whatever happens in the macro economy, the impact on our local market and our business remains to be seen, one thing is for sure the world is still turning and with hard work, dedicated staff and a slice of luck Worksmart Contracts will continue to prosper.