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Staffordshire joins National Apprenticeship Week celebrations

Posted on Friday 2nd February 2024
Apprentices NR

Ellie Butler and Molly Young

Staffordshire is joining in this year’s celebrations for National Apprenticeship Week, taking place from 5 to 11 February.

‘Skills for Life’ is the theme for this year’s campaign, which will aim to showcase and celebrate apprenticeships, apprentices, employers, training providers, schools, colleges and universities.  The week also aims to promote the huge benefits of apprenticeships and highlight the progression opportunities for those choosing them.

In Staffordshire, apprenticeships continue to play a vital role in growing the local economy and last year 6,300 people started an apprenticeship.  More apprenticeship opportunities are still needed to meet the demand from young people, as is the need for more higher-level apprenticeships.

Staffordshire County Council has over 100 apprentices doing 35 different subjects and a further 100 apprentices working in its grant-maintained schools.

The authority has also recently launched its new Jobs and Careers service, which provides a single point of contact for both residents and businesses.  People can get advice on job opportunities, careers and training, and businesses can get advice on recruitment and meeting their workforce requirements.

In addition to this, the We Are Staffordshire partnership have launched their new Skills Prospectus, which hopes to promote the importance of skills for employment in helping residents and businesses to thrive and grow.

Molly Young is on her second year as an apprentice Regulatory Compliance Officer (RCO) with the county council’s Trading Standards service.

Molly said:

“I love doing my apprenticeship.  I have always wanted to go into enforcement and following my degree in Policing and Criminal Investigations, the RCO apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to do this.

“It is great to be doing the job and being part of a profession that protects the public’s health and animal health.  My job is really interesting, I have been involved in enforcement on farms, at livestock markets, manufacturers and retailers.  I get to learn from people who have been doing the jobs for years which is great.

“I put aside one day a week for my apprenticeship learning which is all online.  There’s lots to learn and lots of theory and law etc, but it is really interesting.  The apprenticeship has put me on a career path into a profession, it goes beyond being a job, and I would definitely recommend the apprenticeship route to others.”

Ellie Butler, apprentice Assistant Procurement Manager also at the county council said:

“I’m now a year into my apprenticeship and I feel like I have a great balance of both learning and work as well as feeling more confident in performing my role.

“I was totally new to Procurement which was pretty exciting but my team and manager were great. I love doing the apprenticeship.  I really recommend it to others as a great way to take the leap of trying something new and returning to learning.  While you train day to day, you also learn the theory and wider context of the job you do.

“An apprenticeship also guarantees time for you to complete your course and helps you balance your work and training. Hitting milestones such as passing exams and completing qualifications, and eventually the apprenticeship, is a real confidence booster as you are often reminded of the progress you have made.”

Philip White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills at Staffordshire County Council said:

“Once again, it’s great to be celebrating National Apprenticeship Week and promoting the benefits of apprenticeships to both employers and apprentices.

“Skills are the life blood of any economy and having a skilled workforce is essential if we are to grow the Staffordshire economy and attract further investment and more businesses.

“We already have an expanding economy in Staffordshire with a lot of highly skilled jobs available so there are great opportunities for people with the right training. It’s great to see people choosing the apprenticeship route and enjoying the career and earning advantages an apprenticeship opens up.”

The county will also be hosting its 9th Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony on 9 July 2024 which allows apprentices to graduate putting them on an equal footing with a university route to success.

People can find out more about apprenticeships on our webpage. 

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