Cornwall Council wins apprenticeship award

Cornwall Council has won the first ever Beacon Award for Inclusive Apprenticeship recruitment at the annual Cornwall apprenticeship awards evening, hosted by Truro and Penwith College. The award recognises the council for the high level of support and care given by managers and colleagues. 

Talent and Development Team Leader at Cornwall Council, Joan Mallard, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have won. This award recognises employers going the extra mile to support apprentices with a disability or long-term health condition - which is excellent news and recognises the collaborative work of our HR service and recruiting managers in developing inclusive and supportive approaches.

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“Two of our apprentices, Ali Thomas and Hugh Gibbard, were also finalists at the awards evening  and received a highly commended in their respective categories of Business Apprentice and Digital and IT Apprentice. Joan continued: “Hugh and Ali have fully embraced their apprenticeships and it is a real achievement for them to be nominated, in some very tough categories.”

Cornwall Council uses apprenticeships to help develop staff and to create jobs, with over 50 new apprenticeship enrolments in the past two months, and nearly 20 starting this November. It means the council has nearly 200 apprentices currently working in positions across the authority.

Joan added: “Not only are we providing opportunities for workers to develop themselves, we are also supporting some amazing members of staff who will benefit both the council and other employers across Cornwall in the future.”

These apprenticeships are being undertaken by an equal mix of existing council employees who are working to develop their skills in their current position, and employees new to the organisation. 

Apprenticeships are not just for school leavers with a number of graduates undertaking the ‘learn while you earn’ programmes. The average age of an apprentice at Cornwall Council is 32 and more than half of our current recruits are studying towards a higher level apprenticeship (Level 4 to Level 7, Master’s Degree).

Joan concluded: “The programme is something we are very proud of, we believe in a fair wage for fair work and pay competitive rates, and we also see most apprentices stay with the Council once they have completed their apprenticeship and either progress onto a higher level apprenticeship or gaining employment.  Our apprentices also have a core development programme during their first year, which includes and career advice and guidance.  We actively support apprentices in taking their next step upon completion, including working with managers to allow access to suitable vacancies.

Ellie Skinner is a Policy and Intelligence Advisor with Cornwall Council, she said: “It has been an experience, but I’ve learnt so much and there is a real difference between the person I am now, to the person I was a year ago.  My advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship; just go for it because there are so many opportunities available to you and always say yes to training, because this will help you in the future.”

For more information on current apprenticeship vacancies, please visit: www.cornwall.gov.uk/apprenticeships