07 June 2010: We are delighted to announce that we have been selected as the winner in the Big Break category at the Greater Manchester Employer Coalition (GMEC) awards.
This award is aimed at employers who recognise that talent can be nurtured, irrespective of an individual's age or qualifications, and that such an approach can foster great loyalty and commitment in the workforce.
It challenges traditional Human Resource thinking and practices, and goes to companies who are prepared to look beyond incomplete work histories or non-traditional work experience to recognise an individual's potential.
Caroline Taylor, Zen's Human Resource & Development Manager, Zen Internet said:
We are delighted to have won this award. Zen believes wholeheartedly in developing individuals to their full potential and creating a working environment where employees are given real opportunities.
Zen's mission is to provide the best ISP service in the UK and we recognise that to do that we need to ensure continuous learning and development is a major part of our culture.
In 2009 we committed to run a free of charge Technical Training Programme, aimed at re-training applicants for entry-level roles in our Technical Support Department. The training programme asked for no pre-requisites other than commitment, enthusiasm and the desire to secure a role with an Internet Service Provider. Applicants received five days free of charge training from our experienced in-house training team, covering Internet technologies, customer service and interview skills.
Applicants from different backgrounds including unemployment, college leavers and redundancy, were selected to attend the week long programme. On completion they were presented with a certificate and given a guaranteed interview for a position as a Technical Support Advisor. Three out of 10 attendees were offered jobs. The other seven left Zen with new skills and renewed confidence to continue their search for employment.
Ged Lloyd who took part in the training programme, had been unemployed since January 2009, having been made redundant as a Community Warden, said:
To improve my technical knowledge, I have been studying at home which can make you quite reserved and unsure. Zen's training programme has really brought me out of my shell. I have a strong interest in Internet technologies and the training programme put my existing knowledge into context. I learned a great deal and I would recommend anyone in a similar situation to take this course. I now feel confident to look for employment in other technical businesses with the knowledge I have gained during my week with Zen.
Stuart Drake has been with Zen since August 2008 having gone through one of its original entry-level training programmes. Stuart had been employed as a Quality Coordinator with an Electrical Company, but was looking for an opportunity to develop new skills and pursue a career in a technical role.
Since his original role in Technical Support he has since gone on to be promoted to the role of Team Senior, where he supports and coaches new members of staff and hopes to eventually go on to manage his own team. Stuart said:
The Zen Training Programmes are a fantastic opportunity to learn new technologies and Internet products quickly and efficiently. The information packed into the 5 day course is invaluable and after the first day, my technical knowledge had increased threefold. Zen's training team are very knowledgeable and really know their stuff and with their style of training, you become more confident to ask questions that you would have previously been scared to ask.
Zen is committed to making a positive contribution to the local community. Last year nearly four weeks were committed to working with local schools and colleges, supporting enterprise projects, delivering workshops on careers in IT and carrying out mock interviews with students due to leave school and start looking for employment.
The winners were announced at an awards ceremony held on 26th May at the Hilton Manchester, Deansgate.
Are interested in working at Zen? Please call us on 0845 058 09000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org