AwardsNews

Cork property agency ERA Downey McCarthy have said that pairing with Cork College of Commerce, a Cork Education and Training Board College, to offer an apprenticeship scheme in Auctioneering and Property Services has been instrumental to fostering new talent within the business.

The company, led by Michael Downey and Seán McCarthy, has seen their commitment to the professional development of their apprentices pay off as they have just been announced as a finalist for the Generation Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Awards.

Cork College of Commerce began offering the Auctioneering and Property Services apprenticeship in 2018.

This is a two-year programme aimed at school leavers, mature applicants and existing employees who are considering a career as a PSRA-licenced auctioneering and property services professional.

Participants work four days per week with an auctioneer, estate agent, property management or property letting business while paid by the employer and also attend classes in the college one day per week over two academic years.

Cork College of Commerce have said that ERA Downey-McCarthy were early adopters of the scheme and have been welcomed six apprentices to their business since the programme began.

Principal Helen Ryan said that Cork College of Commerce was extremely proud of the scheme and praised ERA Downey McCarthy’s enthusiasm for the scheme.

“We began our apprenticeship scheme in Auctioneering and Property Services in 2018 and since then have gone from strength to strength.

“The calibre of the apprentices we are producing from their scheme and their success has been brilliant to see and is a testament to the likes of ERA Downey McCarthy who instantly recognised the strength of supporting and partnering with a programme like this.

“We are committed to continuing to foster links with relevant businesses and services across all of our apprenticeship and work placement schemes to offer our students practical experience in a relevant workplace which will stand to them when they eventually enter the workplace,” Ms. Ryan added.

Since taking part in 2018, ERA Downey McCarthy have been a constant presence on the programme establishing themselves on the Consortium Steering Group – the board that takes responsibility for developing and leading the national apprenticeship scheme, and have lead as the face of a national promotion campaign for the Auctioneering & Property Services apprentices which saw record numbers commence in September in the South of Ireland.

In addition to this, they also supported apprentice Judy O’Brien on the prestigious Washington Ireland Programme, with Ms. O’Brien one of the first apprentices to take part since the programme was extended to accept Further Education applicants.

Speaking in relation to their award nomination, Michael Downey said:

“We are delighted to be nominated in the first place and then to be a finalist is a great achievement and an honour.  It’s been super for our business, and it has added young and maybe not so young people to our firm that we may have never found using normal recruiting methods.

He added: “These people have all decided that they would like to make a career out of property so they are already committed to being the best they can be in our industry. Apprenticeship and Further Education Training is imperative for many businesses, and we are proud to be a part of this programme. We could see straight away the benefits of hiring mature people who are going to give 100% to succeed in the property business.  We have found that all our successful applicants have got a great grounding in the basics of auctioneering and know what is expected of them when they enter the workplace.

Mr. Downey concluded: “Overall we couldn’t be happier with the way the programme has worked for us – we have successfully built a highly-talented, loyal and dedicated team and we are hugely grateful for this.”