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Top apprenticeship employer seeking new apprentice

by Craig Martin on 16 June, 2021

More than 60 apprenticeship roles are on offer at a north east authority which is one of the top employers in the country for apprenticeship opportunities.

Durham County Council is recruiting apprentices across a wider range of occupations, offering people the chance to earn as they learn.

The council was awarded a place in the government’s Top 100 Apprenticeships Employers in October last year, with the list celebrating outstanding apprenticeship employers from both the public and private sectors.

It has an extensive apprenticeship programme across its services and schools, with the latest opportunities due to start in September and ranging from entry to degree-level apprenticeships.

Roles span a range of occupations and include: highways operative, gardener, bricklayer, joiner (Level 2); business administration, street-lighting electrician, human resources, ICT, financial management, fabricator/welder (level 3); counter fraud, commercial procurement and supply (Level 4); degree apprenticeships in civil engineering and chartered surveying (Level 6) and graduate opportunities in chartered town planning (Level 7).

Luke Bromley started a civil engineering degree apprenticeship in 2019. The 19-year-old from Spennymoor works four days a week in his role at the council and spends one day a week at Teesside University.

Luke’s role involves installing traffic signals and refurbishing signals at sites across the county, as well as designing new installations. Although his normal place of work would be County Hall, he has been working from home for the past year through the coronavirus pandemic.

Luke said: “I did think about going to university but wasn’t sure it was right for me full time and the work experience that I’m currently getting is invaluable. I’ve had fantastic support from everyone in the team, being made to fit in straight away, and I would love to stay in this role long-term.

“I love getting up every day to do what I do. I am being given more responsibility all the time and thanks to monthly reviews that I have at university, I can see how much progress I’m making so it has been brilliant to see how far I have come already. By designing and installing new signals or helping to repair them, we are helping to keep drivers safe across the county, and it feels really good to know that you have a role in that.”

Sixteen-year-old Jess Ball started her Level 3 business administration apprenticeship with the council in April after transferring from a solicitors firm. She is now based in the health and safety team on a two-year apprenticeship.

Jess said: “I knew I didn’t want to go to college so an apprenticeship seemed like the perfect option. I’ll finish my apprenticeship with the same qualification as if I had been at college full-time but I am being paid to complete it and gaining great experience.

“It was really nerve-racking to start a new job working from home but the team has been so helpful. They couldn’t have done more to help me settle in and support me in the new role and I am so pleased that this is the route I have taken.”

Cllr Richard Bell, Cabinet member for finance, said: “Apprenticeships are an excellent option for people of all ages, providing a good balance between experience and learning, allowing people to earn a wage whilst they work towards their qualifications.

“We have a wide range of apprenticeships available to suit a number of interests and career aspirations, helping residents of all ages into a long-term career that they enjoy and can continue to progress in. People can also apply for a role with us knowing that we will provide support throughout their career with us.”

The council is encouraging applicants of all ages and backgrounds to apply, including school leavers, graduates and those wishing to retrain for a new career. People have until 11 July to apply for the posts, which are all advertised at www.northeastjobs.org.uk

Meanwhile, young people aged 16 to 24 who are currently unemployed and on Universal Credit are being reminded that they can apply for a number of a job vacancies at the council.

The authority has 92 placements available through DurhamWorks, as part of the government’s Kickstart scheme. This aims to give young people the chance to build their confidence and skills in the workplace, to help improve their chances of finding long-term, sustainable work.

Young people signed up to Job Centre Plus and DurhamWorks who are claiming Universal Credit will be able to express their interest in the Kickstart vacancies through their Job Centre Plus work coach and on their Universal Credit journal.

More information about apprenticeship opportunities at Durham County Council can also be found online at www.durham.gov.uk/apprenticeships and residents can find out more about DurhamWorks at www.durhamworks.info

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