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Meeting the Public Sector Apprenticeship Target

Public sectors with 250 or more staff have a target set by the government to use an average of at least 2.3% of their staff as new apprentice starts each year.  As a public sector body in scope of this target, we must ‘have regard’ to the target.  This means we must:

  1. Report our data annually (see Data Publication table below)
  2. Explain how we have had regard to the target, including the actions we have taken to challenge obstacles preventing us from meeting the target

Cornwall Council Reporting percentages

2017-2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

Percentage of apprenticeship starts (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship) as a proportion of employment starts between 1 April to 31 March

16.52%

 

12.69%

 

16.32%

Percentage of total headcount that were apprentices on 31 March

1.68%

2.33%

2.93%

Percentage of apprenticeship starts (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship) between 1 April to 31 March as a proportion of total headcount on 31 March

1.56%

 

1.62%

 

1.89%

 

Our Apprenticeship Strategy sets out our plans to create 500 apprenticeships by 2021.  Here are some of the actions we achieved in 2018/19:

  • We increased our apprenticeships from 40 starts in 2016/17 to 126 in 2019/20 
  • 53% of new entrant apprentices who completed their programme during 2019/20 have secured employment in the Council
  • We have increased the range and level of apprenticeships used in the Council to support skills needs and help raise skill levels across the workforce. ‘Growing our own’ talent is central to our workforce strategy
  • We work with our public sector colleagues in health and social care, and our Group of Companies to develop and deliver existing and new Standards by learning providers that address skills gaps and promote job opportunities for our residents
  • We are a member of the Local Government Association and Regional Public Sector Groups, and take opportunities to impact and shape future national provision.
  • As a large levy payer, we are focusing on higher spend apprenticeships for our own workforce and for levy transfers to other employers in Cornwall to maximise spend of our levy

We now have over 200 apprenticeships being undertaken in 48 different service areas ranging from Levels 2 to 7, including vehicle engineering, business administration, management and senior leader, web and media, commercial procurement, chartered surveyor through to operational firefighting. 

We used our levy funds to start training 17 new Social Worker degree apprenticeships and 7 existing trainee social workers in September 2020.

We have had some challenges along the way including delays in new apprenticeship Standards being available.  However our Strategy clearly details our plans to increase apprenticeships in our workforce in line with our skills needs.  We will continue to have due regard for the Public Sector Apprenticeship Target.

For more information, please get in touch with us at apprenticeships@cornwall.gov.uk or call 01872 324600