Cornwall Council marks National Apprenticeship Week with special open event

There’s never been a better time to consider becoming an apprentice – that’s the message from Cornwall Council as National Apprenticeship Week gets underway (4-10th March).

Cornwall Council currently has nearly 160 apprenticeships in 32 different subjects, ranging from entry level to degree programmes, and this Thursday there is an open event for staff and members of the public to discover more information.

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Learning while you earn, is a great way to start your career and you will join famous names such as David Beckham, Sir Ian McKellen, Stella McCartney and Jamie Oliver by beginning your career as an apprentice.

Deputy Leader of Cornwall Council and Cabinet Member, Julian German, said: “Apprenticeships are a great tool to either launch or change your career. We have some talented individuals currently working through their apprenticeship schemes within the council and I’d like to pay tribute to their spirit and enthusiasm.

“Apprentices make such a valuable contribution to life here at Cornwall Council bringing fresh ideas and raising morale. Whatever your interests or ambitions may be, we offer an increasing range of apprenticeship opportunities at the council and many apprentices go on to have rewarding careers with us.”

Since April 2017 Government reforms have resulted in changes to funding and delivery of apprenticeships to meet the national target of three million apprenticeships by 2020. This means that, as well as contributing to an apprenticeship levy, the Council, as a public sector body, also has a target set by the Government to increase the number of people starting an apprenticeship.

The changes are helping us to plan and build the workforce skills and capabilities needed now and in the future. Providing apprenticeships and routes into apprenticeships are an integral part of Cornwall’s wider economic and skills and education strategy, by helping to raise aspirations.

Paul Masters, Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods, is a former apprentice. He said: “I started an apprenticeship with North Cornwall District Council in 1981. I had just completed a year at Art College. I had to decide whether to continue with a degree at Art College, to be a pilot in the Air Force or to become an Environmental Health trainee – I chose the latter.

“Working for Cornwall Council is fun. There is always a challenge, always a lot on - but it can be tough. Ultimately, working for Cornwall Council is a good achievement. The best thing about being an apprentice is the ability to go out and job shadow, there was so much variety; one day it might have been Housing, the next could have been a Health and Safety accident.”

The councils aim is to provide 500 apprenticeship starts by 2021 to help develop current and future staff.

Ellie Skinner is currently doing a Business Administration Apprenticeship in Strategy and Engagement, she said: “I am really enjoying working for Cornwall Council. My role is really varied, and I love my team and the people I work for. The best thing about being an apprentice is the development opportunities and getting experience working in a professional organisation.

“Since starting my apprenticeship I have undertaken many learning and development opportunities at Cornwall Council. I have attended an application and interview support session, modern slavery and human trafficking awareness, and decision making in a political environment.

“The great thing about apprenticeships is that it gives you a lot of opportunity for personal development.”

The Cornwall Council Apprenticeship Open Event is this Thursday (7th March) between 2-6.30pm at New County Hall and is open to the general public. Visitors will be able to meet with local colleges, listen to guest speakers, meet with current council apprentices and discover our latest vacancies.

For more information please visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/apprenticeships