Mepal Parish Council

Apprenticeships thriving in East Cambridgeshire – a message from ECDC

Businesses across East Cambridgeshire are being encouraged to consider the benefits of apprenticeships as part of the council’s drive to mark Apprenticeship Week (5 February to 11 February).

The number of young people enrolled on apprenticeships in East Cambridgeshire is one of the highest levels across the county, with 11.4% of 18-year-olds enrolled. But currently, the majority of these posts are outside of the area in Cambridge, meaning the district’s businesses risk losing talent. To help combat this, East Cambridgeshire District Council is doing all it can to raise awareness around apprenticeships.

In April it will be launching a new grant scheme aimed at businesses interested in expanding their workforce and investing in innovation. It is hoped this will also be an opportunity to support job creation through apprenticeships.

The council is also working closely with West Suffolk College with a view to the college becoming a key delivery partner for apprenticeships in the district.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has also commissioned a feasibility study into the provision of adult education.

Cllr Alan Sharp, who chairs the council’s Finance and Assets Committee, said: “Apprenticeships are a win-win situation for everyone involved “Young people get to benefit from on-the-job training where they can obtain industry-wide qualifications at the same time they are gaining valuable work experience and getting paid. Employers who hire an apprentice often find it’s a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. Typically, 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity and 74% say apprentices have helped them improve the quality of their product or service.”

The council itself currently employs 3 apprentices across its finance, customer services and parks and open spaces departments. Jarred Parisi joined the council on a four-year apprenticeship surveyor degree programme in 2019, graduating last year. He said: “No two days are the same in building control and you are always helping people, which is probably my favourite part of the job. You also see a variety of different buildings and the way they are constructed and I particularly like that I’m not stuck behind a desk all the time – it’s great being out on site and meeting people.”

Jarred’s commitment to the role won him the LABC’s Newcomer of the Year award in 2022.

Jess Clark is in her second year of an apprenticeship in the finance department and finds learning the different roles and aspects rewarding. Jess explains: “In my role I am able to experience all aspects of finance, working with the team who are experienced and knowledgeable in their roles. I knew an apprenticeship was the best way for me to train, I can apply what I am learning in a practical way on the job and continue my development at the same time.” So far Jess has completed AAT level 2 in bookkeeping and is one exam away from completing her AAT level 3 diploma in accounting. Jess adds: “I enjoy the responsibility of working on my own initiative; knowing I have the ongoing guidance and support from line managers and colleagues really helps. I have found the combination of day release for college and on the job training a rewarding experience and the time has just flown by.”

More information about apprenticeships is available on the ECDC website or you can search for an apprenticeship on the government website.

 

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