CDS, a Leeds-headquartered agency enabling strategic change for its large and complex clients, has pledged its investment in the region’s future with the appointment of four apprentices, set to gain experience across four separate departments. A further five apprentices have also been appointed within the Bailie Group, CDS’ parent company.
Over 850 people applied for roles in the Group, which span finance, IT, people, project management, creative, software development, user experience (UX) design, and cyber security.
An attractive ‘earn while you learn’ package with a starting salary of £18,600 – above the living wage – will be dovetailed by theory-led courses through successful partnerships with leading training providers.
All apprentices joining CDS are offered a permanent contract from day one. “We want to offer people – of all ages – the chance to lay the foundations of their careers,” explained Mark Gair, managing director of CDS, and a former apprentice himself.
“Apprenticeships aren’t just about gaining real-life work experience or ‘starting off’ in a company, they’re about helping you to build a long-term, rewarding profession. And we’re passionate about nurturing the region’s talent – and CDS’ future leaders.”
Designed to discover and build on candidates’ talents, entry-level apprentices will also be given the chance to design their own learning and career development plan, focused on a specific business requirement.
Andy Tupman, Group learning and development manager, added: “As apprenticeships are not age-related, they’re a great way of introducing new and innovative thinking into the agency. Nurturing home-grown, on-the-job talent allows us to apply this learning to brand-new areas of interest which, over time, will deeply enrich and benefit both the individual and the wider business.
“The standard of applications was extremely high with a good breadth in terms of diversity of candidates. We managed to select our final colleagues through a three-step application process, which consisted of an application form, telephone interview, and assessment centre session.”
Candidates will be given the opportunity to work on large-scale private and public sector change management projects – across a client roster which includes global brands such as the NHS, Ministry of Defence and Transport for London.
“Not only providing a means for people to take the first steps in a career, apprenticeships are also a valuable route for more experienced professionals choosing to pursue a different path,” concluded Mark.
“Former teacher, Anton Watson – who applied for a CDS apprenticeship this year – always had an interest in and aptitude for IT and coding. It was this passion that saw him successfully secure a role as an apprentice software developer.”
Forming part of the wider Bailie Group, apprenticeships within CDS offer further opportunities to grow within and across the wider Group’s operating companies too – including, Newspress, Loop, and CDS Defence & Security.