Mayor Ros Jones pledged to create more apprenticeships during her time in office and she has done just that, by creating more than 1,000 since 2013 both within the council and with the help of the private sector. Latest figures show that 97% of those who completed their Level 2 managed to secure employment (2015/16).
An apprenticeship offers individuals the opportunity to learn new skills, gain qualifications and valuable on-the-job experience in a variety of areas. Apprenticeships available within the council include customer services, health and social care, craft apprentices (such as mechanics and highways) and business administration. Private sector apprenticeships include engineering, Silversmith, butchery and dental nurses to name a few.
Young people can find out more about apprenticeships and what’s on offer at the annual Doncaster Apprenticeships Fair on Wednesday 8 March at Cast. The event is free and offers a wide range of businesses and providers for young people to speak to and gain valuable advice from.
Also on 8 March, there will be an Insight Day at Doncaster Council at 2pm and 4pm. This is an opportunity for potential apprentices to find out more about the roles and opportunities available to them. It'll include a presentation on the organisation, a tour of the modern building and facilities and an opportunity to ask questions with current members of staff and apprentices.
One such person who joined Doncaster Council as an apprentice is Christian Foster. Christian, 43, joined the council in 1989. He said: “When speaking to my careers teacher in school in the summer of 1989, the last thing I thought was for me was a career in Local Government. I was thinking my future career could include West End Shows. I was then told that I could take part in training whilst working and everything changed for me.
“My first day was very daunting, I’d left the safety net of school and all of a sudden I was working with people who were the same age as my mum and dad. My first opportunity was in the Education directorate and I was fortunate enough to work with some amazing people. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and immersed myself in working life ensuring that I learned everything I could from colleagues.
“I was so lucky to be given the opportunity to take part in this amazing training programme. I have been able to undertake diplomas and obtain degree level qualifications. The thing that I found most valuable was the mentoring from various staff and partners. I am now heading up a team of specialists who deal in both UK and European funding programmes. I am a very strong advocate of apprenticeship programmes and I am a prime example of how successful they can be.
“I would encourage any young person, who hasn’t decided yet what field of work they want to go into, to explore apprenticeships in the borough. They really do work and can be the first step to a very successful and enjoyable career.”
Mayor Ros Jones, said: “I am passionate about creating a variety of apprenticeship opportunities to support young people across the borough as they venture into the world of work. Higher education is not always the best option for all young people that is why it is so important to give young people a number of options so they can choose the best fit for them.
“The apprenticeship programme has gone from strength to strength and I hope this National Apprenticeship Week even more young people choose to undertake an apprenticeship and take the first step to fulfilling their future job prospects.”