City Council supports National Apprentice Week

Winchester City Council is backing National Apprentice Week from 11-15 March with activities and events involving its own apprentices and celebrating their work.

National Apprentice Week aims to demonstrate how apprenticeships can benefit both employers and individuals - showcasing the quality of apprentices and the contribution they make to their employer's success.

During the week the City Council will post messages provided by the 11 apprentices on its Facebook and Twitter pages highlighting aspects of their work. Three apprentices will take part in job swaps with senior managers, including Chief Executive Simon Eden, with each shadowing the other for half a day.

Cllr Stephen Godfrey, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Finance and Administration, said:

I am pleased to support National Apprentice Week which highlights the benefits that an apprentice scheme brings both for those taking part and for us as an employer.

In a tough jobs market apprenticeships give young people an excellent grounding in the world of work. For the City Council the scheme gives us high quality, enthusiastic additions to our team and the chance to ‘grow our own’: both apprentices from last year have gone on to full-time roles with us.

As well as enjoying the opportunity to work in different departments for the City Council including housing and policy, Winchester’s apprentices have taken the chance to contribute to the local community. They raised funding and helped to restore a churchyard at East Stratton and created a Christmas hamper to raise funds for the Winchester Basics Bank.

One Winchester City Council apprentice said

I was looking for my first full-time job, which is often a very daunting task, and discovered the apprenticeship scheme at Winchester City Council. An apprenticeship has enabled me to develop my skills and opened the door to some wonderful opportunities whilst allowing me to train for an NVQ in Business Administration at the same time. My friends, family and colleagues saw a noticeable difference in my confidence even after a month! An apprenticeship is a great way to meet new people and learn new skills.

Cllr Godfrey added

We are very proud of the success of our apprenticeship schemes. Our first group has achieved nationally recognised qualifications, invaluable experience to start their careers in local government, and the icing on the cake: full-time permanent jobs in the customer service centre.

The council has now built on this success with a second group of 11 young people who are helping us to deliver our priorities and getting a step on the career ladder. We also hope our experience will encourage other organisations and small- to medium-sized businesses in the district to recruit and train young people, and that our new grant scheme helps apprentices who are struggling to meet those initial costs of entering the working world.