To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2013, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council is keen to highlight its commitment to developing its workforce and recognition of the need to have appropriate routes into employment.
Apprenticeships have been identified as one of these routes and, at a time when the number of young people unemployed is high, it is important to highlight the job opportunities available to them.
The council currently has 25 apprentices working across a range of areas, from housing maintenance to adult services and streetscene services, undertaking a range of apprenticeship qualifications, from business administration and customer service to supporting teaching and learning in schools, arboriculture, vehicle maintenance and sign making.
Over 70 apprentices have completed their qualification with the council over the past three years, with 50 per cent of them securing employment in the council and others securing positions with some sub contractors and partners, such as the NHS.
Bradleigh Gwynne, apprentice vehicle maintenance technician at Beverley Depot, said: “As an apprentice vehicle maintenance technician, I am learning both the theory and hands-on elements of vehicle maintenance, one minute I am working on an Astra van and the next a huge gritter truck. No two days are the same.
“The application and interview process were hard work but I was very determined. The job was quite difficult to start with and some of the theory is complicated, but I keep my head down and learn, learn, learn. I know the basics now but I will learn new things every day, the apprenticeship has given me that opportunity. I knew I wanted to work with vehicles whilst at school and worked hard to get where I am today. If you want something, don’t give up.”
Anna Barson, organisational development officer and co-ordinator of apprenticeship posts at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Apprenticeships provide a chance to get hands-on experience, learn new skills, develop knowledge and gain qualifications needed for a chosen career. They offer an excellent route into longer term employment and with the extensive range of qualifications available to suit the needs of service areas and schools, we encourage a number of services in the council to consider offering an apprenticeship opportunity.”
Councillor Jane Evison, cabinet portfolio holder for economic development, tourism and rural issues, said: “The council is proud to be supporting National Apprenticeship Week and promote and celebrate the valuable contributions they make to businesses, organisations and the local economy.
“The council provides support and guidance for young people considering applying for apprenticeships and also offers a number of apprentice opportunities each year, allowing successful applicants to earn-while-they-learn and develop the necessary skills to forge a career in their chosen field.”
For further information about apprenticeships at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, visit www.eastriding.gov.uk/apprenticeships