This week marks the fifteenth annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships and brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider company.
The theme for this year’s event is ‘build the future’ and shows how apprenticeships can help individuals develop the skills and knowledge for a rewarding career.
One individual who has benefited from an apprenticeship at Ealing Council is Ellis Donaldson. Ellis kickstarted her career in trading standards as a 17-year-old regulatory services apprentice and worked across a variety of fields, including licencing, licensing enforcement, trading standards, food safety, health and safety and noise nuisance.
Now in her early 20s, Ellis is a fully-fledged member of the team and has recently taken the lead role in her own licensing enforcement operation.
“The apprenticeship allowed me to experience a wide range of scenarios and disciplines within the realm of trading standards,” she said.
“I’d started my AS levels and completed them but didn’t feel that that was the right option for me so I looked around and saw the role advertised for an apprenticeship at Ealing Council.
“The role has really opened my eyes to the world of trading standards. The apprenticeship allowed me to see there are opportunities to earn while you’re working and you can gain a qualification while having on the job experience.”
Licensed to enforce
As we’re talking, Ellis begins to show us some of the items she and the team have seized from recent trading standards operations across the borough.
There are multiple electronic goods – from ‘Apple’ headphones, ion batteries and charging cables to ‘Dr Dre Beats’ wireless speakers – which she pours out into a big pile on the table. There’s also a bottle of illegally-imported hand sanitiser which the team spotted on sale, plus another sealed bag of illicit tobacco.
“These items are often found in warehouses and industrial estates as well as on sale in off-licences across the borough,” she adds.
“We’re particularly wary of electronic goods as there have been cases of phones blowing up because the replacement battery is fake and has got too hot.
“Our advice is that if the price of an item on sale sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Ellis is currently undertaking the trading standards practitioner qualification, for which she will need to submit reports and understand the legislation to prove beyond reasonable doubt that offences were committed.
Her line manager and team leader for trading standards and licensing, Kiran Seyan said: “I believe Ellis is a shining example of the benefits of joining the apprenticeship scheme. She’s managed to work her way up from an apprentice and now specialises in trading standards. We’re now currently supporting her to do the trading standards qualification and I see a bright future for her here.”
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for decent living incomes, said: “We know how challenging it has been for young people to find good employment and training opportunities during the pandemic. As per our Plan for Good Jobs, the council and partners have created over 750 apprenticeship opportunities for Ealing residents and helped 400 employers hire apprentices.
“An apprenticeship is a fantastic route into a career since it combines gaining a qualification while working in a paid job. I’d encourage anyone who is considering an apprenticeship to get in touch with our friendly team and explore the many options available.”
Explore an apprenticeship
Apprenticeships at the council
Ealing Council is currently recruiting for the following level 3 apprenticeship opportunities:
- Safeguarding peer youth advisor apprentice – youth worker
- Information and records apprentice – data technician
- Surveying services apprentice – data technician
- Strategic property support apprentice – business administration.
Apply by 4 December 2022.