Apprentices celebrated as valued members of Council team
The Chief Executive of Bath & North East Somerset Council has celebrated the achievements of the Council's apprentices in gaining new career opportunities.
As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2013, Chief Executive Jo Farrar learned first-hand from apprentices past and present – and their managers – how both they and the Council were benefiting from the apprenticeship scheme.
Bath & North East Somerset Council currently has 27 apprentices working across a number of roles including Visitor Services at the Roman Baths, Vehicle Mechanic, Youth Services and Recycling.
Jonathan Carter, age 28, from Keynsham is an HR & E-Learning Apprentice with the Council, said: "Prior to the apprenticeship I was unemployed; spending most of my time tinkering with IT or reading books, and occasionally providing IT support to my friends and family. Now I'm developing E-learning for the Council, which has involved me recently heading to Clevedon for a regional Learning Pool/South West Councils meeting, and at the same time providing general HR support when needed.
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"In today's economic climate, I thought finding a job would be hard enough. Somehow I managed to find a job that's not only IT based, but also has great learning prospects and a definite end result with my NVQ Diploma. I'm learning real-life practical skills, as well as working towards a recognised business qualification. This apprenticeship is an opportunity to work towards a realistic goal of achieving employment after I finish my NVQ."
Jo Farrar, the Council's Chief Executive, said: "It's great to hear so many wonderful stories of how Bath & North East Somerset Council's apprenticeship scheme is helping to turn around the lives of people looking for a job and supporting them to progress in their career aspirations. We also value the contribution that our apprentices make, through their skills and enthusiasm, as part of the Council team delivering services across the district."
Leading by example
The Council hopes that other employers will also be inspired to consider how apprentices can make a valuable contribution to their business, such as the example of 25-year-old vehicle mechanic Joe Lewis, of Weston in Bath.
Barry Richards, Fleet Manager for the Council's Environmental Services team, said: "Joe came to us on a workplace experience programme, and went on to complete his three-year apprenticeship - gaining his level 3 qualification in conjunction with Radstock College.
"As his apprenticeship came to an end one of the fitters retired and Joe willingly took the opportunity to become a full time member of staff. Since then Joe has gained his MOT testers certificate and his LGV driving licence and is a very willing member of this small but successful maintenance team."
For information about apprenticeship opportunities with the Council, visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/skills-and-local-employment/apprenticeships, or the Council's jobs site www.bathnes.gov/jobs.
For information about other apprenticeships in the local area contact your local college or the National Apprenticeship scheme (www.apprenticeships.org.uk).
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