During Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2021 (1-5 March), East Dunbartonshire Council is re-affirming its commitment to its Modern Apprenticeship Programme which has helped strengthened its workforce over the years.
Sadly, the award-winning Programme was interrupted by the pandemic and no new apprentices were recruited in 2020. However as soon as it is safe and practical to do so a new recruitment drive will be launched.
The Council has been supporting apprentices in a range of careers since 2013. Over that time, more than half of the 70+ young people who have been involved have secured full-time employment with the Council with many more going onto jobs elsewhere. Several of them have also excelled in their studies and achieved awards in their field.
Ross is just one such success story. A former Bishopbriggs Academy student, Ross began a two year Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeship with the Council's Business Support Team in 2017 and is now working as a Digital Assistant within the Communications Team.
He described his apprenticeship as "the best thing I could have done for my career". He said, "I applied for the Council programme after completing an HND and finding it hard to get a job without experience. Joining the apprenticeship programme was the boost my career and my self-esteem needed. It allowed me to gain valuable experience and I have learned loads of new skills on the job, which have prepared me for my current job. I hope to go on to have a successful career in this field."
Twenty-two year old Emma from Twechar has been part of the Council's Customers Services Team since 2015, getting her start through an apprenticeship she applied for while at Kirkintilloch High.
She said "I didn't know what I wanted to do after school but I was certain that I didn't want to go to college or university like many of my friends. When I saw the Apprenticeship advertised, I knew that it was something I wanted to do. For two years I worked in different areas of the Customer Services team dealing with customers on calls and face to face. Enquiries would be quite varied and this experience helped me complete and obtain my SVQ Level 3 award in Customer Service.
"The job can be challenging at times, but very rewarding. Helping people always gives immense job satisfaction as I am keen to try and make a difference. I'm so glad I chose the path I did and would advise anyone who is considering applying for an apprenticeship, that they should go for it! It is a great way to learn, progress your skills, develop and you get paid at the same time! It also helps you gain lots of practical experience to talk about in interviews, so it's an ideal start to any career."
Councillor Andrew Polson, Joint Council Leader, said, “I am very proud of our Modern Apprenticeship Programme which offers young people a gold standard experience. We have consistently attracted groups of enthusiastic, hard-working and talented young people, many of whom have stayed with us. Young people like Emma and Ross show just how worthwhile an apprenticeship can be if you have the drive to succeed. We are lucky to have them and their peers as part of the team."
Joint Council Leader, Vaughan Moody added, "Not being able to recruit more apprentices was just another unhappy consequence of the pandemic. Bringing apprentices in every year helps us to invest in our workforce while providing excellent career opportunities for local young people. While the Programme has been temporarily interrupted we are determined to restart it just as soon as we can and I look forward to welcoming a new crop of apprentices in the not too distant future."
Local employers interested in finding out more about starting a Modern Apprenticeship Programme in the future can visit www.apprenticeships.scot/for-employers/introduction-to-scottish-apprenticeships/ for information, professional advice and support.