Global Excellence Awards 2018

174 Acquisition International - Global Excellence Awards 2018 24 Acquisition International - January 2018 Smart Apprentices is a high growth UK technology company disrupting the apprenticeship delivery model with innovative new software. We profiled the firm as we go behind the scenes of this innovative company. s a company, Smart Apprentices has grown from a start-up to 48 employees in just five years, operating with a 40% market share. The firm provides innovative technology solutions to training providers and employers, delivering to apprenticeships and helping them present a more fulfilling experience for their apprentices. Last year was a hugely successful year, both for Smart Apprentices and the apprenticeship sector, with the introduction of the employer apprenticeship levy and the transformation of employer owned apprenticeships. Smart Apprentices’ overall mission is to provide the best and most innovative technologies for the apprenticeship sector, which can be achieved with its integrated suite of technologies, providing a fully serviced end to end experience for clients. Excitingly, the company’s flagship award-winning technology, Smart Assessor, has now been joined by four new innovative technologies which have been launched in 2017, enabling the firm to deliver on this aspiration. Thanks to these new technologies, the firm can now provide clients with a fully integrated solution, ranging from recruiting great apprentices through to initial assessments in Mathematics and English. At the helm is award-winning technology entrepreneur and founder of Smart Apprenticeships, Fiona Hudson- Kelly, who has created a culture of putting the user at the heart of everything the firm does. When staff designed the user interface, it initiated a Facebook competition which engaged over 9000 users to compete and design the best dashboard for learners. CEO Fiona started her life as an apprentice at the age of 16, and this inspired her to make something more of herself than she would have believed possible. As a successful, award-winning technology entrepreneur, she is passionate about inspiring the next generation to believe they can do whatever they want, because she did. Company: Smart Apprentices Contact: Fiona Hudson-Kelly Contact Email: Fiona.Hudson- Address: The Barn, Fosse Cottage Farm, Street Ashton, Warwickshire, CV23 0PL, UK Phone: 0845 460 4440 Website: Innovative Apprentice Technology Solutions A 1801AI30 Regarding the internal culture within Smart Apprenticeships, this is a key aspect of its success. The freedom to move, alongside an agile working environment ensures everyone is invested in the firm’s objectives. At the start of the year, the Senior Leadership team communicate the company vision, which has been created through collaborative workshops involving both our users and employees. Subsequently, these objectives are then shared with all employees and worked on within cross functional teams, which are regularly dispersed to ensure everyone works with different users and staff members throughout the year. This in turn provides as diverse a working culture as possible. This openness creates an open and transparent culture between the staff and clients, as well as generating fast-paced innovation. Open and honest feedback is given and received, creating a fun environment from which clients and people can grow and develop their skills, knowledge and behaviours in a can-do culture. Crucially, Smart Apprentices stands out from other e-portfolio technology companies due to the fact that it does not simply convert a paper system to technology, but challenges and disrupts the business model to bring innovative working practices to the sector. An example of this is its innovative Smart Rooms, which are virtual classrooms where assessors and learners can interact online with each other. These classrooms eliminate the time and cost of travel, whilst delivering a rich blended learning experience that can be consumed at a time and place convenient for millennial apprentices. Operating within an ever evolving industry such as the technology market, companies like Smart Apprentices must work hard in order stay ahead of emerging developments, enabling them to stay at the forefront of the industry. To stay ahead in this fast-paced market, Smart Apprenticeships use agile business methodologies across all teams, not just its development teams. The company focuses on what it wants to achieve, which is helping its clients to become more successful, as clients’ success is intricately linked to the company’s success. “Openandhonest feedback is givenand received, creatinga funenvironment fromwhichclients andpeople cangrowanddevelop...”