Posted on Monday 8th February 2021
Joining in the celebrations for National Apprenticeship Week from Monday 8 February are two Staffordshire County Council apprentices.
Libby Wordley-Smith has just completed an IT Application Specialist apprenticeship and has secured a permanent job as a Database Assistant with the council. The 18-year-old from Cannock said:
“My apprenticeship has just ended and I enjoyed it so much. I started my apprenticeship not really knowing what career I wanted but I now know a lot more about what path I want to take.
“Doing an apprenticeship has also built my confidence up as I get to learn new skills and get more involved with team activities. This is definitely a great opportunity to grow and learn more on the job”
Megan Millard aged 23 from Penkridge is part of the council’s Skills and Employability team as an apprentice Business Administrator. Talking about her experiences, Megan said:
“I have really enjoyed doing my apprenticeship. Not only have I been able to improve my existing skills but I’ve also learned lots of new ones at the same time. Everyone has been very supportive and encouraging since I have started and this has helped me to be more confident, as I am very shy.
“I had not really thought much about my career path before, however, since doing the apprenticeship I have a much clearer idea of what I want to do now. Doing an apprenticeship can get you into the career you really want and I would encourage others to definitely consider going down this road.”
Thousands of people continue to get their foot on the career ladder in Staffordshire as the number of people starting an apprenticeship remains slightly above the national average despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the latest published data for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, 15,750 people started an apprenticeship in the last 18 months. The number of people starting a Higher level apprenticeship, equivalent to a degree, also remains in line with the national average.
The number of apprentices in the county is also set to be boosted further with the launch of the Staffordshire 500 Apprentices Wage Support programme. The scheme, being delivered through a partnership of Staffordshire councils, would see up to 500 apprentices created by incentivising employers to take on 16 to 24-year-olds by contributing to the cost of their wages. It would support smaller companies that do not pay into the national apprenticeship levy and could also offer apprentices progression from the national Kickstart scheme.
Philip White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Economy and Skills at Staffordshire County Council said:
“Once again we are pleased to be supporting National Apprenticeship Week to celebrate the achievements of our apprentices and the enormous contributions they make to our local economy.
“2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for businesses but it’s positive to see that the number of apprenticeships has remained high. We continue to prioritise support for businesses and people whose jobs or employment prospects have been impacted by the pandemic. our various support packages for businesses including the Staffordshire 500 will also help them in the recovery phase once the pandemic has passed.
“Our local economy remains strong with a lot of highly skilled jobs available so there are great opportunities for people with the right training. It is good to see people choosing the apprenticeship route and enjoying the career and earning advantages an apprenticeship gives them.”
People can find out more about apprenticeships at https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Jobs-and-careers/Apprenticeship-Parent-Information.aspx