14 January 2014

Apprenticeship boost in Brighton & Hove

Residents are gaining vital work experience working across Brighton & Hove City Council services including in children’s nurseries and as trainee electricians as part of the authority’s apprenticeships drive.

As well as necessary work experience, apprentices are eligible for government bursaries to provide added incentive to those following the apprenticeship route.

Two apprenticeships at Roundabout Nursery have both received a £3,000 bursary from the National College for Teaching and Leadership. Apprentice Daisy Lane said: “With the money I will be buying a laptop so I will be able to do my college work at home. This will allow me to stay on top of my college work and stay organised.”

Working alongside JobCentre Plus, the council is supporting people into work placements and apprenticeships across its services. This means not just work experience but a nationally recognised qualification.

With currently 23 apprenticeships in place currently within the organisation a further 46 will be in place in April. Chief Executive Penny Thompson and the Executive Leadership Team are aiming to reach a target of 70 apprenticeships.

Penny Thompson, Brighton & Hove City Council chief executive, said: “One of the biggest difficulties entering the job market for the first time is trying to break the cycle of no experience.

“So it’s important that as the city’s biggest employer we offer residents the opportunity to gain vital skills and experience to prepare them for work. At the same time we need to recruit, train and develop local young talent that will help us find innovative ways to deliver the 800 services we provide everyday.”

“We want to support young people to make a successful transition to independent living, helping them to meet their potential, achieve their abilities, hopes and aspirations.”

Council-organised sessions have helped inform job seekers and care leavers about apprenticeship opportunities giving a better understanding of the role as well as crucial encouragement to apply for future opportunities.

Housing apprentice Jack Weallans said: “I think the apprenticeship is an amazing opportunity. It has introduced me to a field that I previously knew nothing about and developed within me a passion and interest that will stay with me forever. I have gained in depth knowledge and have felt like a valued member of the team throughout.

“I am now certain that I want to pursue a career in housing, and with the hands on experience I am currently gaining, along with the qualification I will receive; I feel this goal is well within reach.”