Next week is National Apprenticeship Week, running from Monday 8th to Sunday 14th February.
Recruiting an apprentice can help bring fresh talent and skills to organisations, helping employers build a workforce with future ready skills. Apprenticeships are a great option for many people as they combine on and off the job learning.
The Academy at Central Bedfordshire Council offers a variety of apprenticeship programmes including customer service, business administration, Adult Care, Early Years and education (Teaching Assistant). As well as supporting apprentices, The Academy works closely with employers, offering free training for the apprentice’s mentor.
Central Bedfordshire Council has a number of apprentices, including Niamh, a Level 3 Business Administrator Apprentice in the Independent Living Team. She said: “I enjoy the fast-paced environment and have felt supported throughout my time as an apprentice. On the job training has allowed me to develop valuable skills whilst helping me gain my apprenticeship. Being able to network with other apprentices is beneficial as we are able to share our experiences with each other.”
Karen, Niamh’s manager said: “The Apprenticeship Programme has proved hugely successful in the Independent Living Team, and we work closely with The Academy to provide training for our apprentices. We have faced challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, but our apprentices have embraced this challenging time and a new way of working. Within the wider housing service, our aim is to develop apprentices throughout their programme and offer a permanent officer position at the end of the apprenticeship.”
Each apprentice is supported through the programme by an experienced assessor and takes part in monthly tutorials to help their development. They have an online portfolio to record their progress throughout the programme, and managers and mentors also have access so they can keep up to date. Apprentices also have access to a comprehensive e-learning platform so they can develop further knowledge on key themes relevant to their sector.
Regular reviews also take place with the assessor, apprentice and employer to identify progress, next steps and areas of development.
The Government has extended their incentive to employers who take on a new apprentice before 31 March 2021. The employer will receive a grant £2,000 for apprentices under the age of 25, and £1,500 for apprentices over the age of 25. This is per apprentice and all employers will automatically qualify for this grant providing the apprentice is new to the setting. Find out more on their website.
For more information about The Academy and apprenticeships on offer in Central Bedfordshire, please contact Laura Dunn on 0300 300 8131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.