West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long, met five of the authority’s apprentices to mark National Apprenticeship Week.
The apprentices are Chloe Drew, council information centre; Lauren Steele, information centre; Jenna Pell, Democratic Services; Paul Flynn, IT; Louise Reeve, Horticultural. They have all successfully completed an 18-month apprenticeship.
The council has been involved with the apprenticeship scheme since 2012, offering opportunities to young people who want to earn while they learn, and benefitting as an employer from staff who are motivated to learn.
Mr Long said “I’d like to congratulate these five outstanding young people on successfully completing their apprenticeships. I meet them regularly during the course of their work, and I’ve always been impressed by how hard they work and how keen they are to learn.
“The borough council benefits as an employer from having enthusiastic motivated people in the workplace, and our apprentices benefit from the wealth of skills and knowledge their colleagues can share with them.”
Kathy Mellish, cabinet member for human resources, facilities and shared services, said: “I think that apprenticeships are one of the best ways to learn, from the grass roots, learning from colleagues and gaining workplace experience.”
The apprentices have worked in a wide variety of the council’s departments, gaining qualifications and invaluable work experience; reflecting the theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week: “ladder of opportunity”.
Louise Reeve, said: “I enjoyed the experience, a good practical balance between learning and working. I have learnt loads, all complete aspects of nursery and propagation work, really gained confidence and skills regarding communication and team work.
I have gained full time employment at a commercial nursery which starts in March, looking forward to my new challenges. I would encourage others to become apprentices as it is a good experience giving a real and practical career foundation in the industry”.
Chloe Drew said: “I enjoyed learning whilst I was working because I found it useful being able to apply the knowledge which I was learning to the workplace and be able to put it into practise in order to continue to improve my skills. I found my college assessor very helpful and easy to talk to, if I needed help he was always available via email for me to ask any questions, the sessions were enjoyable and he really helped push me in the right direction. I enjoyed the variety which I had in my role, I worked for many different departments during my Apprenticeship and I was therefore always learning new things and getting to meet lots of different people. I would definitely encourage others to become apprentices, especially those in a similar situation to me in that I wasn’t sure enough in what I wanted to do in the future to go to university.
Jobe Arnold is at the start of his time with the council as a Financial Services Apprentice. He said: “I am really enjoying the experience of working and learning at the same time, as I have the chance to study for a good qualification, and earn some money at the same time. What I enjoy most about my role is that I have the opportunity to work in all the different aspects of the accountancy department, so there are a variety of different tasks that I am able to help out with”.
National Apprenticeship Week runs from 6 – 10 March 2017.