Published: 8 February 2023

Meg Nicol, Recruitment Lead at Darlington Building Society

As the person leading Darlington Building Society’s mission to find and nurture the best talent, Meg Nicol is perfectly placed to assess the best routes to success.

And, as a former apprentice herself, Meg is a passionate advocate for apprenticeships as an effective way of laying solid foundations for a rewarding career.

Meg, who joined the Society as Recruitment Lead last March, is happy to use her own experiences to help promote National Apprentice Week.

“I honestly don’t think I’d be where I am today – doing a job I love with Darlington Building Society – without the skills, knowledge and confidence I gained as an apprentice early in my career,” she says.

Meg was born and raised in Middlesbrough and, after leaving St Mary’s Sixth Form College, she worked as a customer service adviser in the Santander call centre at Stockton.

When the time came for a new challenge, she took voluntary redundancy to go travelling before joining Reed Recruitment on an apprenticeship, specialising in recruitment.

Alongside studying remotely with Skillsfirst, Meg was able to gain invaluable experience, learning about recruitment practices, sales tactics, and attraction planning.

After qualifying with a Level 3 NVQ diploma in recruitment, she spent another year with Reed before moving to the G4S security company, helping to recruit security officers across a wide range of sectors.

That was followed by Meg joining Darlington Building Society as part of the HR team, and she is delighted to be part of a business that operates under the motto “Passion for Talent”.

“That message is embedded into the organisation from start to finish,” she says. “I’ve never known a company that supports its staff as much as Darlington Building Society – it’s a breath of fresh air.”

The Society is now supporting Meg’s further development by putting her through her Level 4 NVQ diploma in recruitment practices, and she’s quick to recommend apprenticeships as a great starting point for careers.

“Going to university isn’t for everyone and it’s important that people appreciate there are different routes forward,” adds Meg. “What I loved about doing the apprenticeship was that, as well as giving me the basic knowledge I needed, it also linked everything back to my working environment and made it really relevant.”

And it is a route that has led Meg to a role that she finds “hugely rewarding” because it’s all about bringing in fresh talent as well as making the most of the talent already at the Society.

“The biggest satisfaction I get is in helping people to succeed and seeing how much it means to them, whether that’s creating a better work-life balance, or a promotion that gives them more money,” she says.

“I love my job with the Society and the foundations were undoubtedly laid through my apprenticeship. I’d recommend it to anyone.”

You can learn more about a career at Darlington Building Society here.