This week, 6 to 12 February 2023, sees the UK celebrating National Apprenticeship Week and Sevenoaks District Council is right behind it.
The importance of apprenticeships
Apprenticeships may in the past have been for younger people, aged on average between 16 and 18, but these days, they are being promoted as a way of existing staff gaining further qualifications and in some cases as part of a strategy to upskill the existing workforce in order to ‘grow talent’ within the organisation.
Sevenoaks District Council currently has eleven apprentices in varying disciplines and levels. These range from Customer Services, Vehicle Repair, Town Planning, Facilities Management, Senior Leadership and more.
Apprenticeships taken up by Council staff
Two Council staff who are doing completely different apprenticeships are Sonny La Kruz and Adam Cudd. Sonny is doing a 16 month Level 3 Data Technician apprenticeship, while Adam has opted for a four year Level 6 Chartered Manager Course which will end in a BSc Honours degree.
Sonny says: “My course deals with improving data quality, visualisation and managing statistics for decision making. It has been really enjoyable so far, I’ve already picked up a number of new skills and techniques which can be applied in the area of work that I undertake. The online live training sessions have been very good – meeting with people from a variety of sectors and sharing ideas & working practices has been most beneficial.”
Adam says: “The course was recommended to me by my manager and when I saw the range of topics covered I realised what an opportunity it was. I am relatively new to management so I believe I will gain skills in this course that I perhaps wouldn’t get the chance to develop in my current role. It will also give me more confidence to actively develop my career at The Council. There are so many apprenticeships out there it really is a great opportunity to train whilst working. I’d encourage people to have a look what’s on offer.”
Thoughts by leaders
“Apprenticeships are an exciting option where you get hands-on training and also the chance to put your skills into practice. Apprenticeships are available at multiple levels. From school leavers, people upskilling in their careers and complete career changes. There are hundreds to choose from and some include a qualification, like a degree. They can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills.”Cllr Peter Fleming, Council Leader Sevenoaks Council
Council Leader, Cllr Peter Fleming, added his thoughts on this issue highlighting the importance that apprentices play in providing all individuals, across different ages and career paths, a good opportunity to improve their skills through hands on training. He also highlighted the mutual benefits received by employees and employers alike in engaging with such programmes.