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The value of an apprenticeship

Interested in an apprenticeship? It can be a great way to gain qualifications and on-the-job experience. It can also lead to well-paid employment and help to build a brighter local economy.

Apprenticeships are real paid jobs for people aged 16 and over where the employee learns and gains valuable experiences.

An apprenticeship includes paid employment with holiday entitlement, hands-on experience in a role of interest and training, which leads to a nationally recognised qualification.

Ealing Council regularly recruits residents into the various council departments from students that have just completed their GCSE’s to those in their 40s and 50s, as a first step back into work. This has led to a number of apprentices moving onto top jobs and also recruiting apprentices into their teams.

The council and its partners have helped and supported hundreds of residents to start apprenticeships with employers from different sectors. To find out more and see the latest vacancies.

Around Ealing heard from two of the council’s apprentices, one at the start of their journey and another at the end to find out more about their experience and the apprenticeship scheme.

Sahib’s story

Sahib Singh has worked at the council for almost 18 months and has completed a level 3 business administration apprenticeship with distinction. He started out on the Kickstart scheme and progressed on to an apprenticeship. Kickstart was a government-funded scheme, as part of the pandemic recovery that gives young unemployed people aged 16 to 24 on Universal Credit the chance to take the first step towards building a career.

Sahib said: “I feel like I’ve developed a lot of interpersonal skills during my time at the council. I used to be quite a shy and withdrawn person but engaging with so many different residents, employers and partners on a daily basis has really improved my communication skills and confidence.”
‘There’s always a positive’

“Now that my apprenticeship is coming to an end,” Sahib continued, “I’m getting a lot of support from my pastoral officer who is going to support me for up to 6 months after I leave the apprenticeship scheme and help me to find employment.

“Apprenticeships give you that hands-on experience that you might not get at university, and you get a qualification and a wage. There’s always a positive to be had by joining the apprenticeship scheme.”

Lots of opportunities

Councillor Louise Brett, the council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes, said: “Apprenticeships are a great way to continue studying towards a national qualification, improve your chances of gaining employment and earn money at the same time.

Our apprenticeship programme also teaches life skills. We are really impressed with the standard of our apprentices, and proud of what they go on to achieve. You don’t have to be a school leaver to be an apprentice either, there are lots of opportunities for people of all ages wanting to retrain and upskill.”

Rachel’s story

Rachel completed her A-levels and wanted to continue to study, but she knew she didn’t want to go to university. So, when a friend suggested she look at an apprenticeship, Rachel decided it was an avenue she wanted to pursue.

Rachel is 6 months into her apprenticeship and is already educating more young people about what it means to be an apprentice.

She said: “A lot of schools host job fairs and they invite the council to attend so I go along and represent my team, share my experience as an apprentice and talk to them about how people can get into an apprentice role.

“I’m currently studying for my level 3 in business administration, but I might like to go on and study a level 4 or 5. I know the council has supported other apprentices to do this, so hopefully I can too.”

Employ an apprentice

The council’s Ealing Apprenticeship team could help your business to take on, an apprentice, including free advertising space and financial support towards the entire study programme as part of the apprenticeship, please note this does not include wages. If you would like to discuss employing apprentices, or want to upskill your existing staff, get in touch with the team.

Apprenticeships benefit businesses by providing a practical way to grow talent and develop a skilled and motivated workforce.

For more information, visit the Work Ealing website or email apprenticeships@ealing.gov.uk or call 020 8825 6234.

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