Chamber members join forces to develop apprentices


A Burntwood-based recruitment agency has recruited two apprentices and is developing an existing manager with new skills, thanks to training experts Performance Through People (PTP).

PTP has helped Valyou Recruitment, a firm that specialises in the construction industry, to offer apprenticeships to a school leaver, a Kickstart trainee and a manager who currently looks after HR and finance.

Jason Challoner, managing director of Valyou, explained his passion for skills and giving people a chance to grow through education, and how he was enjoying working with PTP to find the right people and courses.

With PTP’s assistance, Valyou has recruited 18-year-old Sam Denan, who had just left sixth form in Burntwood, as a trainee recruitment consultant serving the mechanical and electrical sector.

Sam’s progression in that role will now be helped with his Customer Services apprenticeship that he is taking with PTP.

PTP also helped Valyou to recruit Charlie Dance, aged 22, also of Burntwood, on an initial Kickstart programme.

He did so well that he is now staying with the company as a trainee in the accounts and payroll department, taking an Accounting apprenticeship with PTP.

Meanwhile, Susan Challoner, Jason’s wife who until now has worked as a manager in the firm’s HR and finance department, has enrolled onto a Digital Marketing apprenticeship with PTP to take her career in a new direction.

Mr Challoner, who is also honorary chair of Lichfield and Tamworth Chamber of Commerce, said: “Valyou is located on the site of Chase Terrace Academy and we regularly support the school with talks, work experience and presentations.

“When it comes to recruiting apprentices, we’ve been pleased to work with PTP as they have the specialist knowledge and skills required to not only find the right people but to then arrange their training and ongoing development.

“They not only look after new starters but also provide opportunities for existing staff like Susan, who is a great example of how people can change their career route through the diversity of the apprenticeships that PTP offers.”

Gill Durkin, business executive at PTP, and president of Cannock Chase Chamber of Commerce, explained that Valyou had previously been a client, with one of the apprentices it supplied several years ago going on to win an award.

Ms Durkin said: “I got to know Jason in my role as president of Cannock Chase Chamber, as it has close ties with the Lichfield and Tamworth Chamber.

“The chambers are a great way to network and I’ve found it really useful to get to know Jason so well, finding out more about what they needed next from apprentices.

“We’ve been thrilled to help them find a school leaver, a Kickstart recruit and to help one of their managers change their career though an apprenticeship.”