South Hams District Council has helped a number of young people over the years to shape their future careers through apprenticeships within its departments. The apprentices have ranged in age and experience.
National Apprentice Week, which is running from 5 - 9 March 2018, has been running for 11 years and is a great opportunity for school-leavers or anyone above the age of 16 years to explore apprenticeships as a prospective ladder to a great career.
An apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity to train while you work, providing you with the skills, experience and valuable knowledge to succeed in a chosen career path. There are a range of industries that offer apprenticeships, and on completion, you receive a certificate that is equivalent to a qualification (ranging from GCSE level up to degree level).
Although a permanent job is not guaranteed after an apprenticeship, a number of the individuals who have passed through the Council's skills development programme have gone on to fill positions on a fixed contract or permanent basis.
Cllr Simon Wright, Executive Portfolio Holder for Support Services at South Hams District Council said: "We have definitely seen and enjoyed the value that apprentices have brought to the Council. Many of them have played a part in introducing fresh thinking and new ideas within the roles that they occupy.
"With the introduction of the apprenticeship levy and the way the government now funds apprenticeships, there is now much more choice available for students in terms of what they can study and at what level. For example, you can now study up to degree level and there will soon be degree level apprenticeships available in subjects such as Planning, Engineering and Environmental Health which we intend to explore further in terms of developing our future workforce.
"This not only benefits us but the apprentices as well because they gain that much-needed skills reference that is often lacking from graduates seeking employment."
Six months ago, Jaime Kearney hung up his chef's apron to focus on a career in Design, Media and Communications. The 21 year old South Devon College student was drawn to the Council's apprenticeship programme because of the benefits that he felt it would offer.
Jaime said: "I was working as a chef before I came on the apprenticeship. When I began my studies in Creative Digital Media and Communications, I really enjoyed what I was learning in school and I wanted to challenge myself further. So I applied for the apprenticeship
"It has been incredibly eye-opening. Being in the work environment and working with professionals has shown me the possibilities that are out there for me."
Apprenticeships with the Council are advertised on the website and the National Apprenticeship website, when they become available. Keep an eye out by visiting www.southhams.gov.uk