Businesses reminded of support available as county celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

Businesses in Staffordshire are being reminded about the support available to recruit an apprentice as part of this years’ National Apprenticeship Week celebrations.

The ‘Now’s your time to recruit an apprentice for less’ campaign is being delivered by Staffordshire County Council, who are making up to £5,000 available to small businesses towards the cost of taking on an apprentice.

The funding reminder comes as the county prepares to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week.  Amongst those joining in the week- long celebration are Staffordshire County Council apprentices.

Emily Doorbar is the COVID Defence Lead at the authority and is currently studying her Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship and MBA through Keele University. Emily said:

“Doing my apprenticeship has been great and has helped me develop a whole new range of skills from leading a team, dealing with major challenges like Covid-19, to thinking more strategically.

“The support I have been given whilst studying has been great! I am part of a group with other students on the programme. I have a mentor at the council who I meet with regularly and my manager also takes part in my regular reviews with the university.

“This year I applied my learning to my work on Covid-19 and as a result I was recognised in the Queen’s New Years’ Honours list. I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone looking to progress their career or broaden their opportunities.”

Family Practitioner Sue Oliver is  doing her level 6 apprenticeship and once completed will be a qualified social worker. Sue said:

“I love apprenticeships because I get to continue doing a job that I am really passionate about, alongside studying at university, where I get to learn all about the theory that relates to my practice.

“I love the support that I get from everyone; my employer, the university and my fellow apprentices.”

Apprentices continue to play a key role in growing Staffordshire’s economy, with over 13,730 apprentices engaged in learning during the last 12 months.

Higher Apprenticeships remain available from the equivalent of a foundation degree to a bachelor’s degree and even master’s degree level in some sectors. More of these specialised and highly-skilled apprenticeships are being offered each year, giving individuals the chance to continue their professional development and fully realise their potential.

Philip White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills at Staffordshire County Council said:

“We have a rapidly growing economy in Staffordshire, with a lot of highly skilled jobs available so there are great opportunities for people with the right training.

“It’s great to be celebrating National Apprenticeship Week and to see so many people choosing the apprenticeship route; enjoying the career and earning advantages an apprenticeship opens up.

“Apprenticeships are not only a great option for those doing them but can also benefit businesses too; bringing fresh ideas and improved productivity. Having a skilled workforce is also essential for future growth and apprentices can help to achieve this. The business support apprenticeship helpline is standing by with advice on taking on an apprentice and accessing the funding, so I would urge companies to get in touch.”

Lee Mountford is studying his Accountancy Taxation Professional level 7 qualification and said:

“I love apprenticeships because you are never too old to learn.

“The support is great!  A team of professional people including tutors, coaches and my line manager have taken the time to work with me and guide me through the apprenticeship, improving my knowledge and skills, which ultimately resulted in me having greater confidence and the ability to progress in my job.”

Amy Sales works in the county council’s Placement Referrals Team and is doing her level 3 Team Leader / Supervisor apprenticeship. Amy said:

“The apprenticeship has really supported me in my progression to a manager role. I don’t think I could have done this without doing the apprenticeship.

“It really helped me to build my confidence and also supported me to put my learning into practice. I cannot recommend an apprenticeship enough to peers and managers wishing to invest in their employees skills. My training provider, Newcastle College, have also been great throughout the training.”

Claire Williams from the council’s School Crossing Patrol service is also studying a level 3 Team Leader / Supervisor apprenticeship. Claire said:

“When I first heard about the leadership and management apprenticeships launching, I was excited but also anxious as it would involve juggling learning, working and my family.

“I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship, I am developing new skills, which I can put to good use in my new role as Area Manager.”

Funding to help recruit and retain an apprentice is available to businesses based in Staffordshire. Go to https://bit.ly/AnApprenticeForLess or email apprentices@staffordshire.gov.uk to find out if you are eligible.

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