For National Apprenticeship Week, Rochdale Borough Council is reaffirming its commitment to apprenticeships with more new starters taking up roles.
Since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in April 2017 Rochdale Borough Council has been staunchly committed to providing a wide range of apprenticeship opportunities. Close to 400 people have been on an apprenticeship programme either as a new starter or via a continuous professional development (CPD) opportunity.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a national impact with apprenticeship starts down across the whole country but the picture is much brighter in Rochdale as 32 new apprentices have started with the council, and schools, since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
'I'm always delighted to see new recruits and to have continued to offer opportunities to new apprentices during a challenging time really shows how committed we are to them as our future workforce'
Councillor Kieran Heakin, cabinet member for getting a good start, said: "We feel our programme offers a high quality opportunity for apprentices to join our workforce and start what will hopefully be a long and successful career journey with us, and this has been recognised through various awards and recognition over the years.
"I'm always delighted to see new recruits and to have continued to offer opportunities to new apprentices during a challenging time really shows how committed we are to them as our future workforce. We currently have 115 people on apprenticeship programmes, this is testament to the dedication of our workforce in seeing the value in these opportunities."
So far in 2021 14 new apprentices have started:
- Joshua Ennis is doing a level 3 business administrator apprenticeship in the chief executive's office
- Matthew Hargreaves and Michael Pomroy are both doing a level 2 horticulture and landscape apprenticeship in the council's environmental management service
- Jess Powell is doing a level 3 payroll apprenticeship with the council's HR department
- Amie Pearson is doing a level 3 business administrator apprenticeship at Parkfield Primary School
- Ansar Bibi is doing level 2 customer service apprenticeship in the council's children's centres
- Chloe Smith and Ramat Ikram are doing a level 3 teaching assistant apprenticeship with Meanwood Primary School
- Evan Brigham is doing a level 3 business administrator apprenticeship in the council's skills and employment team
- Mohammed Alom is doing a level 2 customer service apprenticeship in the council's skills and employment team
- Ellen Shepherd is doing a level 3 business administrator apprentice at Heybrook Primary School
- Samantha Stott is doing a level 3 teaching assistant apprenticeship at St Mary's Primary school
- Robert McLean is doing a level 3 business administrator apprenticeship in the council's revenues and benefits team
- Hussain Ibrahim is doing a level 3 business administrator apprenticeship in the council's legal services
Speaking on her first day in the role, Samantha Stott, teaching assistant apprenticeship at St Mary's Primary, said: "I'm excited to get started in my apprenticeship and support the children of Rochdale during this challenging time."
In October 2020 the council was named in the Top 100 employers list for apprenticeships. The council now stands in the rankings with large national employers like Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), The British Army, Sainsbury's and M&S. The Top 100 showcases the very best of England's large Apprenticeship employers, recognising them for providing some of the most successful apprenticeship programmes. The list helps potential apprentices, parents and careers advisers to identify the best apprenticeship opportunities with the highest performing apprentice employers.
The council has also managed to achieve the rare achievement of all school settings across the borough having either recruited an apprentice or placed existing staff on an apprenticeship for CPD, something that has seen the council gain recognition from the House of Commons and to speak about at national events to support other employers on how to achieve this.
'I'm delighted at what we have to offer and many of our apprentices' are working hard on the frontline of our COVID-19 response across a variety of council service and our schools'
Councillor Heakin continued: "We have a great partnership ethos across our apprenticeship programme from training providers to our schools. I'm delighted at what we have to offer and many of ourapprentices' are working hard on the frontline of our COVID-19 response across a variety of council service and our schools. They often speak of their pride at this and rightly so."
As well as providing the initial opportunity, 85% of apprentices go on to secure a job with the council, another employer or start a university course.
Recruitment to the next cohort of apprenticeships at the council is open. There are a variety of vacancies ranging from adult care worker apprentices, data hub apprentices and business admin apprenticeships.