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Colchester Borough Council welcomes new apprentices

Date issued: 11 October 2017

Hard-working youngsters are being given the chance to learn while they earn, with a new intake of apprentices at Colchester Borough Council.

Twelve young people recently joined the authority and will get the chance to experience the working-world through a year-long, full-time, structured training programme.

Councillor Mark Cory, Portfolio Holder for Resources, officially welcomed the cohort of new apprentices, in a meeting held at Rowan House today (11 October 2017).

This year, with the introduction of the government levy, the Council adopted a new approach to recruiting budding apprentices with the offer to join a comprehensive apprenticeship programme.

A range of apprenticeships were advertised on the National Apprenticeship Government website, offering opportunities in a variety of Council services including Events, IT, Museums, Economic Growth, Business Rates, Council Tax and Benefits.

The requirements to apply were:

  • Age 16 and over (age 18 and over in some cases)
  • Able to work full time
  • Full commitment to a one-year programme
  • Five GCSEs grade A to C, including Maths and English or equivalent

Successful applicants completed an online application, and attended an assessment day and one-to-one interviews to join the programme.

In addition to completing a formal apprenticeship qualification with a recognised training provider, the Council has developed a programme providing apprentices opportunity to participate in the following activities:

  • On-the-job training and job shadowing
  • Allocated projects appropriate to their service area
  • On-line training and development
  • Scheduled one-to-one meetings with line managers
  • A Programme of workshops and masterclasses
  • Volunteering
  • An assigned individual mentor
  • Social activities
  • Buddy system
  • Regular programme reviews enabling apprentices to offer suggestion for improvement and provide feedback

Speaking after welcoming the new apprentices, Cllr Cory said: "I was delighted to meet our new apprentices and to have the opportunity to offer them our full support and encouragement.

"Apprenticeships play a vital role in giving young people from all backgrounds an opportunity to learn and develop the valuable workplace skills they need in today's employment market.

"Our new Apprenticeship Scheme commits us to increase the number of apprenticeships we are able to offer young people. With improving job opportunities in the borough and unemployment at an all-time low, it's vital that we continue to develop our workforce, and apprenticeships are key to achieving this."

In March 2017 Sammy-Jo Matier, who joined Colchester Borough Council's Customer Services team as an apprentice Benefits Assistant in April 2016, was nominated for Apprentice of the Year. The award, presented by Career Track, recognises the hard work and commitment of apprentices whose work and learning impresses their assessors.