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Council just the job

Posted onPosted on 9th Mar

Apprenticeships work – just ask Nottinghamshire County Council and the businesses it is supporting to create new opportunities throughout the county.

New figures, released to coincide with National Apprenticeships Week, show that over 80% of apprentices placed with Nottinghamshire County Council have moved straight into employment, education or further training after completing their placements.

And since the Council started offering apprentice opportunities in the summer of 2011, 152 placements have been offered across the Council, with over 30 previous apprentices securing employment with the Council itself.

In April 2014, the Council introduced paying the National Minimum Wage to its apprentices – a significant increase for many young people – which has helped lead to a major improvement in retention rates.

25 of the apprentices placed with the Council have recently achieved an award from the Institute of Customer Service after successfully gaining qualifications, including two distinctions (SEE IMAGE AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD BELOW).

Councillor Sheila Place, Chairman of the Personnel Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, presented awards to the apprentices who achieved distinctions at a ceremony of Friday 6 March.

Councillor Place said: “I’m proud that Nottinghamshire County Council is putting its faith in local young people and is being rewarded by the excellent contribution they are making in departments throughout the authority and to communities in public services throughout the county.

“I am delighted but not surprised that so many of the apprentices placed with us have used the opportunity as a springboard to further training, education or full-time employment – both with the Council and other organisations.”

Meanwhile, the Council has also been offering financial incentives to local companies to take on apprentices.

Less than a year into the scheme, 87 Nottinghamshire businesses have taken on apprentices with the support of Youth Employment Scheme (YES) funding from the County Council – putting the project on course to reach its target of supporting 166 new apprenticeships by April 2016.

YES is delivered by Futures, on behalf of the County Council. It provides grants of £1,500 to businesses taking on an apprentice (aged 16-19) for the first time, provided the company employs 250 people or less and the apprentice lives in Nottinghamshire.

The scheme has helped create apprenticeships in a diverse range of sectors, from construction, tourism and manufacturing, to retail, voluntary sector and high-tech firms across the county.

Councillor Diana Meale, Chair of Economic Development Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “There’s a huge pool of eager, talented young people in Nottinghamshire wanting to earn while they learn.

“Apprentices can provide businesses with energy, new ideas and the opportunity to mould a future asset – its a shame that some companies are missing out.

“YES has been a tremendous success so far and we are well on the way to achieving our aim of 166 new Nottinghamshire apprenticeships by 2016. It is structured to provide a financial incentive for businesses at the beginning, middle and end of the apprenticeship term, buying time for the young person to learn and grow into their role.”

YES Apprenticeships have been created throughout Notts, with the most apprentices living in Gedling (21), Mansfield (17) and Broxtowe (13). Most have started at the age of 18 (27).

If you are a business interested in taking on an apprentice or a young person interested in an apprenticeship, find out more about the local opportunities available at