Council award for apprenticeships work

Northumberland County Council won the Recruitment Excellence Award at the Regional Apprenticeship Awards 2018.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 02 October, 2018, 14:23
Northumberland County Council's learning and skills team.

It was also highly commended as Macro Employer of the Year in the North East.

Northumberland has recruited more than 2,000 apprentices across the county council, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust and council-maintained schools.

Over recent years, it has developed a clear and ambitious strategy to invest in attracting talent to the organisation and has committed £1million per annum for three years to support its ambition.

Deputy leader Wayne Daley said: “It’s great to see the council getting recognition as a Highly Commended Macro Employer of the Year, but we are absolutely thrilled to be the regional winners in Recruitment Excellence.”

The apprenticeship awards showcase the diverse and growing range of sectors engaged with apprenticeships, whilst celebrating outstanding apprentices, employers and individuals who go above and beyond to champion apprenticeships across England. The awards are open to apprentices, individuals who promote apprenticeships and employers of all sizes from all sectors.

The county council were up against a wide range of industries and occupations, also shortlisted for highlighting best practice across recruitment, training, diversity and career progression.

Northumberland has recruited more than 2,000 apprentices across the county council, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust and council maintained schools. Over recent years it has developed a clear and ambitious strategy to invest in attracting talent to the organisation and has committed £1million per annum for three years to support its ambition.

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The programme has a great success rate, at least 20% above national rates and with 91% of apprentices progressing to higher level apprenticeships or full employment in the council.

Success has been down to a multi-pronged approach to recruitment including a strongly promoted campaign called ‘We’re Making it Work’ as well as a programme for vulnerable young people where roles are created in the council and local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to give them a head start. New mentoring and counselling teams also provide pastoral support for apprentices, to ensure success.

A team of 40 ambassadors represent a cross-section of apprentices and they actively promote the programme through activities such as career fairs, pop-up events, networking events and work-related learning in schools.

Coun Daley, who is also Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Apprenticeships are incredibly valuable to the council and to businesses in Northumberland. We support hundreds of apprentices each year and they play a valuable role in the work that we do. The crafting and delivery of our vision for apprenticeships across the Council been a whole team effort.

“Our teams do a wonderful job with our apprenticeship programme and the results speak for themselves. We are immensely proud of the part everyone has played in creating an exciting place for apprentices of all ages to work and grow.”

Dean Jackson, service director, Education and Skills said: “This is fantastic news for the council and a really well-deserved achievement for the whole team involved. As a council, we are passionate about supporting young people to come through our organisation, as they are our council leaders and managers of the future. The award highlights the dedication of the team and advocates an exciting time ahead for learning and skills for people living in Northumberland.”

Northumberland was one of only five employers in the North East to be shortlisted, and success in the regional awards will see the council nominated forward to the nationals.