Apprentice Header

Apprenticeship Logo (silhouette of young man and woman).
Stars in the making

With 15 apprenticeships created within Bolsover District Council for 16-18 year olds, and over 90 apprenticeships with a wide range of public and community and voluntary sector organisations, this programme was a HUGE success.

Several brave apprentices agreed to step into the limelight and share their stories. View the short film below to hear from them and their supervisors.

Apprentice Programme Apprentice Programme

Apprentice Programme (About)

The Bolsover Apprenticeship Programme created 75 apprenticeship places employing Bolsover residents between January 2010 and June 2012; targeting young people not in employment, education or training (NEET), and unemployed residents in the most deprived areas of the district.

Working in close collaboration with key partner organisations, Bolsover District Council recruited fifteen 16–18 year old NEETs/potential NEETs for up to 18 months to an ‘in house’ apprenticeship programme.  The programme also created 60 apprenticeship opportunities for 18-24 year olds and people aged 25+ from unemployment ‘hotspot’ wards. This has enabled public and third sector partners to employ an apprentice to assist their workforce in delivering services to local communities.

Apprentice Programme - Archive


2011/12 Year End

Under the first phase of the Bolsover Apprenticeship Programme, nine apprentices successfully moved into employment during Quarter 4, with five gaining roles with their placement employers. Three apprentices unfortunately left with no secured employment and eight candidates gained their NVQ L2.

The selection, screening and inducting of 30 new candidates for the next phase of the programme funded through Working Neighbourhoods Fund, Coalfields Regeneration Trust and partner contributions was completed in Quarter 4. 30 candidates started on programme on 20 February with a week long induction. This concentrated on team work and employer expectations. All candidates completed a L1 qualification in employment skills. Apprentices, placement partners, funders and training providers also attended an Art of Brilliance workshop as part of the induction week.

All candidates are now placed with their employer partners and will be employed and supported by the programme until they complete in February 2013.

2011/12 Quarter 3

A number of apprentices are now approaching the end of their contracts.  11 achieved their NVQ level 2 this quarter and some are continuing to work towards completing their qualification. A number of additional training has been provided through ‘The Art of Brilliance’ which has been well received by the apprentices and partners.

Some apprentices have left the programme and successfully moved into employment with other employers, but more encouragingly, partners have worked hard to ensure where possible to offer employment opportunities to their apprentices. It is clear to see that during this programme the positive perception of apprentices within partner organisations and the best practice is being shared amongst partners and other local authorities.  

2011/12 Quarter 2

Quarter 2 has been another period of consolidation with apprentices now settled into their placements.  Two apprentices had to be moved to new placements during the quarter due to problems arising at their placements. Two Labour MPs visited the programme in July. Both met a number of apprentices and discussed their experiences and benefits of the programme.

The numbers of apprentices leaving has grown due to contracts naturally ending and a number have found employment (approximately 60% to date).

Four Art of Brilliance courses were run during the quarter. The first half day course was run exclusively for managers and supervisors of apprentices at the Chesterfield Royal Hospital. Two further half day courses were delivered at South Normanton for managers and supervisors of partner organisations and possible future partners. The fourth course was a full day delivered for all past and present apprentices as well as their managers and supervisors.

Funding has been gained to extend the scheme to offer a further 30 apprenticeship opportunities, commencing February 2012.

2011/12 Quarter 1

Six, week long, Pathways to Progression courses were run between March and the end of June. The course included CV writing, interview skills, communication, application forms, job search, etc. Feedback was excellent and it prompted a number of candidates to start looking for work and to raise the level of their applications.  A combination of the Art of Brilliance and outdoor team building was tried out for a select group of candidates who were ‘more problematic’ or have personal issues that continue to be a challenge.

Five apprentices were paid their framework achievement bonus this quarter. One has gained an award at college as their departments’ apprentice of the year!

As at the end of June 2011, there have been 19 leavers from the programme:

  • 6 dismissed
  • 6 resigned (1 moved out of the area, 1 left due to pregnancy, 2 left to pursue different careers/alternative work, 1 due to personal issues and 1 with no reason provided)
  • 6 entered employment
  • 1 entered self employment

2010/11 Year End

The apprenticeship programme has achieved all of its targets for the year.  This means that a total of 60 apprentices aged 18+, and 15 young apprentices aged 16-18 had been recruited to work within Bolsover District Council or partner organisations since the start of the programme.

Fourteen Apprentices have left the programme for a variety of reasons:

Three dismissed; three gained employment; one started their own business; one end of contract – now employed with partner; one moved out of the area; five resigned.  Overall this represents a positive progression route into employment of around 36% to date.

Eleven Apprentices have completed their NVQ Level 2 frameworks and been paid their bonus; five of these have since moved onto a Level 3 framework.  Two more plan to follow the same route and a further two plan to move onto higher education, in the form of foundation degrees.  This is as a result of their aspirations increasing through their experience of the programme.

The forward strategy of the programme is now being considered and a feasibility study is being undertaken to explore the potential of rolling the scheme out to the private sector.

2010/11 Quarter 3
At the end of December, a total of 60 apprentices aged 18+, and 15 young apprentices aged 16-18 had been recruited to work within Bolsover District Council or partner organisations.

Fourteen Apprentices have left the programme for a variety of reasons:

Three dismissed; three gained employment; one started their own business; one end of contract – now employed with partner; one moved out of the area; five resigned.  Overall this represents a positive progression route into employment of around 36% to date.

No further vacancies are open but the Apprenticeship Team are working with Chesterfield Royal Hospital to fill 15 x 16-19 year old apprenticeship vacancies in admin, catering, health care, IT and stores. Interviews are scheduled to take place early March 2011.

Six week job search and interview skills courses titled ‘Pathways to Progression’ have been arranged to take place in Quarter 4.  Courses will have a maximum of 12 delegates who will gain a completed CV, an understanding of job search methods, the ability to complete application forms and a filmed interview session with feedback.

2010/11 Quarter 2
At the end of September 2010, a total of 43 apprentices aged between 18-24, and 14 young apprentices aged 16-18 had been recruited to work within Bolsover District Council or partner organisations. Only one position for the 16-18 age group now remains unfilled.  The project manager has reported that Quarter 2 was extremely busy in agreeing the finer detail of placements, interviewing large numbers of candidates from both groups, and carrying out pre-employment checks.

Some difficulties were encountered in getting enough referrals and applications from candidates through Jobcentre Plus and Connexions to fill some opportunities and 16-18 referrals / applications were lower than expected.  A pre apprenticeship programme was run through the Chamber of Commerce without charge to the programme.

Bolsover Jobcentre Plus intimated that the programmes running in the area and particularly the Apprenticeship Programme had such an impact on the area's eligible Future Jobs Fund candidates they were having to submit clients that weren’t eligible and then fast track them if successful.

Referrals from the Alfreton area have been poor. It’s unclear if that is due to the eligibility profile of the area or lack of programme awareness. Apprenticeship team members have visited the Jobcentre to increase awareness. Conversations have been had at manager, area manager and regional office level about the situation. Vacancies in the area remain unfilled.

2010/11 Quarter 1
Fifteen new apprentices joined the Apprenticeship Programme in Quarter 1, against a target of 20.  A larger number have been offered placements but the process of employment checks within Bolsover District Council has delayed the process.

Positions have also been found for the majority of candidates for the next quarter and meetings with Derbyshire County Council to finally secure their exact involvement were progressed and are on going.

A celebration event held on 21 May brought all the apprentices and some partners together.  The day included a motivational speaker and a life coach.  In the afternoon managers and supervisors benefited from a coaching and mentoring workshop.

The Programme Coordinator continued to open channels to other projects and organisations, e.g. meetings were held with Derbyshire Dales District Council (DDDC) to look at a possible apprenticeship programme. This resulted in the sharing of material, contacts and advice and DDDC have since started their own programme.

The next quarter will see an increase in recruitment for both the 16-18s and the 18+ age groups. The profile of five more 16-18 starts in September has been increased to ten. This has been achieved by bringing January starts forward. This will take advantage of College start dates in September.  To ensure September starts, interviews have been scheduled for the first two weeks of August.

Apprentice Programme - Case Studies

Case Study

In 2010 fifteen apprenticeship opportunities were offered at Bolsover District Council to 16-18 year olds who were not in education employment or training (NEET).  Of these, there was one apprenticeship in decorating and another as a multiskilled tradesman.

Apprenticeship placements were funded for 18 months. Many trade apprenticeships take two years or more to achieve. Chesterfield College rose to the challenge of offering flexibility in their delivery to allow the decorating apprenticeship framework to be completed in an 18 month time frame.

At the time there was no local training provider offering the multiskilled apprenticeship. Again Chesterfield College worked with us to ensure that they could deliver the framework and fulfil the programmes requirement. Once again they were flexible with their delivery in allowing the apprentice to complete the course within the 18 month timeframe.

Both apprentices, with the support of their supervisors and tutors, have worked extremely hard to complete their qualifications within the time constraints. They have always been enthusiastic in all aspects of the programme and benefited from additional training opportunities as they have arisen.

To their credit both apprentices have recently secured level 3 apprenticeships in the Authority.


Letter from an Apprentice 

The following is a letter to Mike Gibson, Programme Co-ordinator and Andrea McNeil, Programme Officer of the Bolsover Apprenticeship Team.

8th July 2011

Hi Mike / Andrea

As I have never written a letter of resignation before I am not sure if the one I have written is suitable, let me know if not and I will write another.

This part is really just so I can be informal and tell you how much I appreciate what you have done for me, without the apprenticeship I have no idea where I would be now, maybe still signing on, with no driving licence, no passport, no savings, no holiday booked in September, no confidence, no hope, no life etc etc.. I’m not going to mention my massive new T.V or new Xbox.

But on a serious note.. Thank you.. and everyone else who may have been involved that I don’t know about.

You’ve changed my life, and that isn’t an exaggeration, thank you for giving me a chance..

I know I can’t be the only person whose life you’ve changed, I just want to say you guys do a great job, and without you a lot of people would be a lot worse off.

Ok I’m done being a soppy bugger that’s all my emotion tapped out for this financial year, So before I leave to catch my train..

Once again..

Thank you!


Filming Underway! 

Bolsover Partnership is capturing some of the shining stars of the Bolsover Apprenticeship Programme on film over the next few weeks. Filming commenced at Pleasley Vale Outdoor Activity Centre on 18 August with Sam Flint and her supervisor Dave Ford. The film crew then moved on to interview seven more Bolsover District Council apprentices at Riverside Depot. Over the coming weeks, apprentices at Hardwick Hall, Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Bolsover School will take the limelight as part of a wider project to promote the impact of the WNF.



Jake Hutson

Jake was interviewed, selected and accepted an opportunity on the Bolsover Apprenticeship Programme in 2010.  At the time Jake had been unemployed for some time and had been unsuccessful at gaining employment.

Jake has blossomed in his placement in the gardens department with the National Trust at Hardwick Hall. He has completed his level 2 apprenticeship framework in horticulture and has also had the opportunity to pass his chainsaw certificate.

Jake’s main duties have been extremely varied, from weeding, edging lawns, mowing, mulching, lifting and dividing plants from the garden, fixing/servicing broken tools and machinery, cleaning/maintaining hand tools, watering and caring for plants in the nursery and any other odd jobs that may arise in a garden.  

The majority of Jake’s apprenticeship has taken place in the gardens completing practical tasks. English and maths were delivered in a mobile training classroom where the training provider offered individual support to Jake and other horticultural apprentices.

Jake’s manager Marie reports that – “Jake has really enjoyed the Apprenticeship Programme, it has given him lots more confidence in his own abilities, given him a real purpose in life and a reason to get up in the morning. He enjoys Hardwick because of the variety of tasks involved with the day to day running of the garden and has integrated really well into our working patterns. He enjoys liaising and working with other people and I believe in his time here he has learnt to communicate with people at all levels, from volunteers to senior management.”

Marie goes on to say “Jake has been a godsend here, as I said the other day, I am extremely impressed with his attitude, his manner with other people and the way he uses his own initiative. I would have no problem in recommending him to any employer as I feel he can turn his hand to almost anything. It has been a pleasure to supervise him.”

“I must congratulate Bolsover District Council on the apprenticeship programme, in our time with Jake it has been a resounding success and in a world where finding a job is not easy, schemes like the Bolsover Apprenticeship Programme are vital to people who were in Jakes position, long term unemployed and not many prospects or opportunities on the horizon”.


Zoe Rousell

Chesterfield Royal took its first batch of apprentices in February 2010 and two of them now have permanent positions within the Trust, one of those is Zoe Rousell who joined the programme after a year out of work following her redundancy from an electrical installation firm.

She said  ”I had applied for lots of jobs but there was so much competition at the time that I kept getting rejected so when I heard about the scheme through the Jobcentre I joined without a second thought. 

"I’ve been able to work in a number of different positions across the Trust including patient safety, clinical development, the education centre, infection control and I’ve also been able to do an NVQ in Business Administration”.

“I enjoyed it most in infection control and when a permanent position came up I applied.  They liked me and I’d already got the experience so I got the job which was 30 hours a week and I was able to top that up with seven and a half hours a week auditing so I’m working here full time now”.

“I’ve had some tremendous support from everybody here, especially Sue Faulkner in clinical standards and governance who has helped me a lot and continued to give me advice and support even when I moved out of the department, and also through the programme from Mike and Andrea.  I’d also like to thank my line manager Diane Simpson, who’s the senior matron in clinical infection, and the rest of the team for making me feel welcome”.

“My aim now is to progress through the ranks and I’m doing another internal course on medical terminology in March.  I’m so glad I was told about the programme and I’ve got those who support it to thank for re-launching my career”.


Adam Stokes

Adam Stokes (25), started work at Bolsover District Council in February 2010 as an Apprentice Communications Assistant - now he has now become self employed and set up his own video editing and production company!

Working in the Council’s busy Communications department, Adam gained the necessary job skills and knowledge and also received the relevant training to help him pursue his passion of video production and set up on his own.

Council Leader, Councillor Eion Watts said, “We are delighted for Adam. We invest a lot of time and effort in our apprentices to make sure their time with us is as fruitful as possible and they get the right training and skills that will help them in the future.

“After all this is what the Apprenticeship Programme is all about – giving young people the chance to get that all important on-the-job experience, which will eventually lead to a full time job and that is what we have achieved here.”

Adam Stokes said, “I would like to thank Bolsover District Council for all the advice and support they gave to me during my time on the Apprentice Programme. Having previously been unemployed and lacking confidence, my time at the council has given me a good grounding in the world of work and the confidence to pursue my dream and become self-employed. I cannot thank them enough and would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who gets the chance.”


Lauren BarkeLauren Barke

Lauren Barke was employed on the Apprenticeship Programme in July 2010, after been on benefits for around 6 months.  Lauren was placed at The Meadows Community School to complete her level 2 apprenticeship in business and administration.  Her apprenticeship framework consists of a level 2 NVQ in business and administration, a technical certificate and functional skills (English and maths).

She now aims to complete a level 3 apprenticeship before moving on to a degree.

Lauren says “The apprenticeship is brilliant, I love it, it’s the best thing I have ever done. It’s been an opportunity to gain qualifications I didn’t think I was capable of achieving. I would have never considered a degree prior to the apprenticeship because I didn’t think I was clever enough”.




District Council ApprenticesAlex Everett

The Apprenticeship Programme took on its first apprentices in January 2010. The initial intake of 16-18 year olds was originally only meant for five young people with a further two groups of five scheduled for September and the following January.

But due to the level of interest and the caliber of applicant, it was decided to adjust the initial intake to seven – allowing for two additional apprentices to be taken on in administration roles at the Council.

The four leisure and three administration apprentices are still with the Council today and doing extremely well. Ryan Dethick has now attained his level two apprenticeship framework in accountancy and Lewis Harland and Jordon Cotterell have almost completed their apprenticeship frameworks in administration. Lewis is then hoping to continue on to his level three framework in the new year.

Each apprenticeship is tailored to the individual. This has resulted in partnering with four training providers for the frameworks and further providers for the additional training. That is in addition to the internal training all Council employees receive.

Alex Everett, Pest Control Apprentice is enjoying his role and relishes working in the department. As there is no apprenticeship framework for pest control Alex will complete an apprenticeship in Advice and Guidance followed by full cost industry recognised training and examination.

Bolsover District Council Cabinet Member for People, Councillor Toni Bennett said, “The apprentices are proving a real asset and their enthusiasm is infectious. Looking to the future we hope to have a rolling apprenticeship programme that would benefit the Council, the general public and the young people themselves.”

Bolsover District Council, through the Apprenticeship Programme, now employs fourteen 16-18 year old apprentices in ICT, leisure, administration, housing, vehicle maintenance and pest control.



Joanne HaywoodJoanne Haywood

Joanne achieved a place on the Bolsover Apprenticeship Programme, working in the Leisure Services department. Joanne lives in South Normanton and the Apprenticeship means she is based across the county at different leisure centres. There are no suitable buses running at the times she needs to get to work, so Ways to Work has been able to help Joanne by supporting her with the cost of getting to work. Specifically, the client allowance of £200 has been used to contribute to fuel costs for Joanne’s father, who is currently unemployed, to drive Joanne to and from work enabling her to work early morning, late evening and weekend shifts.


Thomas Wood

Thomas Wood (18) from Creswell has accepted a position of an Apprentice Leisure Assistant with the Council. Thomas will work at Creswell and Kissingate Leisure Centres, undertaking a variety of tasks including sports coaching, reception duties, healthy living and activities promotion and customer interaction.

Thomas will also be going to college to study for a NVQ Level 2 Leisure qualification.

Thomas has since gained his NVQ Level 2.  Well done Thomas!


Rico Loscalzo

Rico Loscalzo (19) from Pinxton, was the first apprentice to start. He was placed with the South Normanton and Pinxton (SNaP) Development Project where he will work with the organisation to provide front line reception duties, signpost callers to other organisations and assist with the production of marketing material and the community newsletter.

Rico gained an NVQ Level 2 Business Administration qualification and has been taken on by SNaP.  Congratulations Rico!

Apprentice Programme - Outputs


Outputs 08/09

Unemployed people gaining employment

  20 40



16-18 year olds going into education, training or employment (that were previously NEET)

   7 8 16  31

Working age population (16 years+) achieving an NVQ  Level 2 or equivalent

    11 33 44

Jobs created

   27 48  31 106

Employees benefiting from training

   26 49  67 142

Apprentice Programme - Contacts


Programme Co-ordinator

Programme Officer

Mike Gibson
Human Resources and Payroll
Bolsover District Council
Sherwood Lodge
Oxcroft Lane
S44 6NF
Tel: 01246 242588

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Andrea McNeill
Human Resources and Payroll
Bolsover District Council
Sherwood Lodge
Oxcroft Lane
S44 6NF
Tel: 01246 242338

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Open pdf documentApprenticeship Programme Evaluation Report




WNF Apprentice Images

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