City Training

How City Training uses Proclaim to revolutionise the placement process

Established in 1983, Bradford’s City Training Services offers a wide range of apprenticeships in the Yorkshire area – from cultural and creative to construction and engineering.

City Training has established a reputation as one of the region’s leading providers of apprentices and corporate training programs, proudly boasting:

  • OFSTED Grade 2, ‘Overall quality of provision’
  • Grade 1, ‘Framework for excellence for finances’
  • Over 1,000 apprentices on its register at any one time
  • Coverage of 23 occupational sectors

The organisation employs over 50 staff and provides apprentices for a diverse range of businesses, including BASF and PACE.

In 2011, City Training implemented Eclipse’s ‘Proclaim’ Case Management Software system. Proclaim provides a complete desktop solution for the management of workflows and documentation, integrating front-end user productivity tools with back-end reporting and analysis. Richard Hinchliffe, CEO at City Training, tells us about his use of Proclaim

Why did you decide to implement a Case Management system?

It was somewhat serendipitous! We at City Training were running some sessions for Eclipse staff on corporate presentation skills. The firm invited us to see the end result – its annual client conference, attended by 300 delegates – where it was providing demonstrations and announcements regarding new features in the Proclaim system. We were struck by just how good Proclaim seemed to be and how its tools could be used to streamline our own operations.

What benefits do you see from Proclaim?

At the moment we have 20 staff accessing the Proclaim system, using it to manage the apprentice interview and placement process.

An online application form on our website collects initial information and enquiries from candidates and that data is automatically imported into our Proclaim system – no manual intervention is required.  The data is assessed (again automatically) against relevant criteria and, if appropriate, we invite the candidate in for first stage interview / testing. We can even remind them of the upcoming meeting by SMS text message – sent automatically from Proclaim at pre-set intervals.

Because Proclaim imports this online data automatically, there is no need for our staff to undertake a physical ‘trawl’ of incoming enquiries. The end result? Of the 3,000 applications we receive annually, we can schedule interviews for within 3 days of the initial enquiry. The industry norm is around 3-4 weeks.

During the interview process, our advisors can key candidates’ data and responses directly into Proclaim – the system then creates a CV for them, using pre-configured templates. Proclaim even produces a conditional offer letter which the candidate can take to potential employers, as soon as they leave the interview.

This is a huge benefit and reduces administration and duplication of effort – right through this whole process there is never a requirement to do the same thing twice. Data is captured once, at ‘point of entry’, and does not need to be captured again. In addition, we can collect peripheral and related data to enable us to tailor our services and improve the apprentice’s chances of success.

For example, we can ask, “Have you ever had careers advice or interview training?” and if the answer is no we can offer relevant sessions to up-skill apprentices accordingly.

By providing this type of highly personalised service, interview attendance levels are around 80%. This is a superb figure and speaks volumes for our ability to capture and manage the apprentice quickly – striking while the iron is hot!

Any plans for the future?

Our strategy is based around streamlining the process for apprentices, making the whole journey as efficient and ‘clean’ as possible. In a recent economic climate not conducive to excellent performance, the number of 16-18 year olds we deal with has increased by 28%. This is a fantastic statistic and shows how we have utilised Proclaim as a real business development tool.

We are delighted with our implementation of Proclaim – the system allows us to deliver superb service and efficiency levels while managing ever-increasing volumes.

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