It’s National Apprenticeship Week (8 to 14 February) and this year's theme is Build the Future. The annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships will shine a light on the amazing work being done by apprentices at Barnsley Council.
As a result of the pandemic, this year’s Apprenticeship Week will be very different, but just as exciting. The council will be sharing real apprenticeship stories about how their contributions have supported the COVID-19 response and recovery. The week will highlight the learning they have experienced along the way and the benefits of an apprenticeship programme. Residents can view the stories by searching #NAW2021 on Barnsley Council's Facebook page and Barnsley Council's Twitter page.
The council has 127 existing employee apprentices in a variety of roles including finance, HR, highways, and digital services. Apprenticeships with the council can range from Level 2 to Level 7 and can take between one and five years to complete. Anyone who is interested in an apprenticeship with Barnsley Council is encouraged to visit barnsley.gov.uk/apprenticeships for more information.
Casey Oxley is currently undertaking an apprenticeship to gain a Level 3 qualification in Learning and Development. Casey said: “My role involves working in the Learning and Development Team to deliver virtual and face to face sessions for learners. I help identify learning and training needs throughout the council and external learners too. My apprenticeship has allowed me to shadow training sessions to understand how they take place and what skills I can use for my future career in training.
“For most of my apprenticeship, I have been working from home due to COVID-19. I have enjoyed attending virtual meetings and having group calls – it has given me the opportunity to develop my technology skills which I wouldn’t have got if I worked in the office. For face to face sessions, we have been going to the Metrodome twice a week for COVID-19 tests to maintain a safe environment for our learners.
“My advice to other apprentices is that smart working is an extremely helpful way of working, especially in these difficult times. It allows you to have the same opportunities as you would if you were working in your area of work, while staying safe and protecting the NHS.”
Cllr Alan Gardiner, Cabinet Spokesperson for Core, said: “We’re pleased to share the motivating stories of our apprentices who have helped us to adapt and build during a difficult year. The energy and enthusiasm that they bring to our services is to be celebrated, as well as their hard work and commitment while always wearing their council badge in honour.
“Apprenticeships have a key role to play in helping our town’s economic recovery, and we’d like to remind people that anyone over the age of 16 can take part in an apprenticeship. They’re a great way for you to achieve a qualification while gaining on the job skills, knowledge and experience. You can find a range of apprenticeship opportunities at barnsley.gov.uk/jobs.”