Apprentice Programme - Case Studies
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..
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 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”.
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 (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 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”.
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 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 (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 (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!