Apprenticeship opportunities for young people

Cllr David ElkinYOUNG people on the search for the perfect job can find out if an apprenticeship with East Sussex County Council is for them.

Following the success of the last work readiness programme session, the local authority is inviting up to 25 young people aged 16 and over a place on the next event, which runs from February 8 to 12 2016.

Participants will be prepared for life at work and given advice to help them decide if an apprenticeship is the best route to take.

Romalie Ford, who attended the session in October last year, said: “The event was really useful because many of us had never even worked before. It provided us with the information that we needed about work and becoming an apprentice, and this helped us to get in the right mind-set to start work.”

The 17 -year-old was one of 21 young people who signed up for the week-long work-readiness course, which included advice on interview skills and CV writing and an introduction to working in local government by East Sussex County Council chief executive Becky Shaw.

The week ended with two work experience days with different council departments. Following interviews, 14 apprentices were hired to become Business Administration Apprentices at the county council.

Romalie, who was successful in the interview process and began work in November, said: “Everyone has been really friendly and welcoming, and I am thrilled to now be an apprentice at East Sussex County Council. My apprenticeship is going to open up opportunities I may never have had, and ensure I have the skills to build a promising career in the future.”

Each apprentice has been assigned a mentor to help them in the workplace, and all 14 apprentices will meet regularly and support each other while studying towards their qualifications.

Cllr David Elkin, East Sussex County Council lead member for resources, said: “Having been fortunate on leaving school to become an apprentice I can really recommend it. I’ve always said that I started my education the day I left school and became an apprentice. It’s the best thing I ever did.

“Apprenticeships offer an opportunity for young people to get relevant, on-the-job experience and get their foot on the first rung of the career ladder and the work-readiness programme is a great way for them to find out if apprenticeships are right for them.”

The scheme supports the East Sussex employability and skills strategy, launched in 2014 in a bid to ensure the county’s workforce has the skills businesses need.

ESCC will be recruiting more apprentices in 2016 and are looking for young people who want to pursue a career in Health and Social Care or Business Administration.

People can get more information or register their interest in the next work readiness programme session, by emailing or call 01323 463728.