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COVID-19 doesn’t deter council from committing to apprentice roles

12 October 2020

New apprentice Stuart Clarke-Neal.

In the last 2 months, 15 new apprentices have joined Rochdale Borough Council in a variety of roles.

  • Kirsty Turner will be undertaking a level 3 business administrator standard apprenticeship in adult care.
  • Ellie Gilmour, Patrick Cameron and Shannon Merriman will all be undertaking a level 2 adult care worker standard apprenticeship.
  • Hollie Batchelor, Paige Phillips-Brady and Abbie Morton will all be undertaking level 3 teaching assistant apprenticeship at Harwood Park Primary School.
  • Lucy Brooks will be undertaking level 3 teaching assistant apprenticeship at Ashfield Valley Primary School.
  • Beth Thomson will be undertaking level 3 teaching assistant apprenticeship at Heap Bridge Primary School.
  • Paula Thomas and Katie Richardson will both be undertaking level 3 teaching assistant apprenticeship at St Luke's Primary School.
  • Lucie Cowley and Samantha Davies will both be undertaking level 3 teaching assistant apprenticeship at Broadfield Park Primary School.
  • Stuart Clarke-Neal will be undertaking a level 3 business administration apprenticeship in the council's policy, performance and improvement team.
  • Faizen Mahmood will be undertaking a level 4 associate project manager apprenticeship in the council's environmental management service.

Demonstrating a clear commitment to the future workforce, the council now has 96 apprentices currently working in its various departments or in schools. Many past apprentices have also secured permanent positions within the council.

Councillor Kieran Heakin.  

'We are really proud of our successful apprenticeship scheme'

Councillor Kieran Heakin, cabinet member for children's services, said: "We are really proud of our successful apprenticeship scheme and it's always great to see more and more take up roles with us. An apprenticeship is a really great entry into a variety of careers and gives young people a real chance to earn and learn."

Adult care has gained four new apprentices at a vital time for the service as it works hard to protect vulnerable, elderly residents during the pandemic. The new starters will be working across the integrated neighbourhood teams delivering innovative services for residents, helping to reduce health inequalities and support independent living.

'I wanted to follow my family's tradition of being able to care for people in the community and gain satisfaction from my job'

Patrick Cameron said: "I decided to go for the adult care apprenticeship to be an adult care worker because I wanted to follow my family's tradition of being able to care for people in the community and gain satisfaction from my job. I'm happy to be doing an apprenticeship rather than college because of being able to earn while learning and it is more extensive and hands on which I love."

Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, cabinet member for adult care, said: "Our visionary apprenticeship service ensures young people have the opportunity to flourish and develop, gaining vital experience across adult care roles. It is testament to the success of our apprenticeship scheme that so many young people move into permanent roles, so I pay tribute to everyone for their hard work and wish our latest apprentices every success."

The new apprentices are joining a very successful and highly-acclaimed apprenticeship programme that the council runs. 

The new apprentices at induction.

'I'm really excited and believe that apprenticeships are the best option for a lot of people'

Paige Phillips-Brady, starting her teaching assistant apprenticeship, said: "When leaving school I had preconceptions that apprenticeships were for students that weren't very academic and didn't have any qualifications. When I left Sixth Form I looked into apprenticeships and found that there were different levels and I could be in a working environment which was perfect for me. I'm really excited and believe that apprenticeships are the best option for a lot of people."

Recruitment to the council's apprenticeships programme for the January 2021 cohort is now open, there are 16 vacancies in a variety of roles including teaching assistant, admin, landscaping, legal services, customer service and payroll. 

Applications are open until Wednesday, 14 October 2020.