The Competenz job matching service, relaunched in 2019, is helping companies like Solo Ltd engage new talent and grow its business, while giving apprentices a start in careers that are in global demand.
Solo is an Auckland-based company that designs, manufactures and installs pipe and fittings for infrastructure projects including water, wastewater and electrical industries. The business has more than 50 full time staff and two apprentices on its books who were sourced through the Competenz job matching service.
For Solo CEO Alan Sutcliffe, employing new apprentices had, up until now, been frustrating.
“We were growing increasingly discouraged by placing ads on employment websites that usually yielded unsuitable or overseas applications. So I approached Competenz to help us source good people and they have delivered,” says Alan.
Competenz offers the job matching service free of charge to employers looking to take on an apprentice or entry-level staff across all its 37 industries. Recruitment Executive Brenda James runs the service and says for already very busy business owners and managers, it provides welcome assistance.
“My role is to match people with available training opportunities. To do this, I call on the experience and skills I’ve amassed during 20 years in the recruitment industry. I know the questions to ask any potential workplace learner.
“I’ll ask the employer about the type of person they’re looking for, and what they offer in terms of environment and team culture. By us screening both employer and potential apprentice, we can find the right fit.”
Alan’s brief to Brenda was simple: any applicant needed to have a willingness to learn.
“Anyone who wants to work in our business must be motivated to learn and turn up each and every day with a positive attitude. To me, that’s more important than having existing skills.”
Brenda also assesses candidates’ level of knowledge of the industry and whether they understand what is required in terms of time and study in an apprenticeship programme, if that is where they are heading.
“We drill down to check their attitude and work ethic. It’s a robust process that employers find incredibly valuable. We are always aiming to find a person who will thrive in a particular business and contribute to its success,” says Brenda.
The two Competenz apprentices at Solo – one man and one woman – are currently part-way through their Fitting and Turning, and General Engineering qualification programmes respectively. Alan says he gets satisfaction from helping young people grow and develop.