South Tyneside Council is hosting a programme of activity to promote National Apprenticeships Week, which runs from 6-10 February.
This year’s theme is Skills for Life and will focus on how apprenticeships can help people develop the skills and knowledge needed for rewarding careers and for businesses to create a workforce equipped for roles in ever-growing sectors including digital, green, and data.
Last year, 5,000 people in the Borough were undertaking an apprenticeship, and 460 of those who took up a new apprenticeship were over the age of 25, highlighting that apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers, but for anyone wishing to develop their skills.
Katie Bell joined the Council as an HR Support apprentice after leaving university and gaining a degree in politics.
The 22-year-old is now in the second year of her two-year Level 3 apprenticeship and has secured a permanent job. She said:
“When I left uni I still wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, and I found that all the jobs I looked at needed experience, which I didn’t have.
“I’ve always been the kind of person who learns best by doing, and the apprenticeship has given me that hands-on experience that I lacked as well as studying at college.
“It’s a really supportive environment and a foot in the door to an organisation. Even if you don’t get a job at the end of it, you gain really valuable experience for your CV and a qualification.”
Next week’s programme of events will include an online apprenticeship fair, as well as job workshops and an information evening for parents.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said:
“We’re committed to supporting apprenticeships and ensuring that we drive skills development to ensure that our future workforce can take advantage of opportunities such as IAMP, Dogger Bank and our growing green economy, happening right on our doorstep.
“Apprenticeships allow people to earn while they learn and get higher-level qualifications and mentoring from professionals to gain the necessary skills and experience to forge successful, sustainable careers.
“The South Tyneside Pledge advocates recruitment and retention of local talent and I’m delighted to say that in the last six months alone, more than 50 new apprentices have been taken on by companies who have signed the Pledge.
“Making sure residents have access to good quality jobs, skills, and learning is one of our five ambitions and promoting apprenticeships, nurturing homegrown talent and creating better outcomes for local people is key to realising that ambition.”
Further details of next week’s events can be found at: https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/16625