Shot in the arm for youth employment as Council relaunches early careers programmes

Friday, 25 June, 2021

early years programme award winnersAfter a year of disruption to its popular and award-winning Modern Apprenticeship and Grad+ Programmes, East Dunbartonshire Council is relaunching both schemes with 30 brand new opportunities for local young people.

Building on its track record of commitment to providing youth training and employment, the Council is recruiting 21 Modern Apprentices and nine Graduates - the first new group since before the pandemic.

When the new recruits join the workforce in the Autumn, it will bring the number of young people who have participated in these Programmes since 2013 to almost 150.

Over the years, the vast majority have gone on to employment with more than half of the Graduates now working in core professions within the Council.

Rebecca, a former Lenzie Academy pupil, joined the Grad+ Programme at the end of 2019 after graduating from the University of Stirling with a BA Hons in Business Studies. She is now employed as a Digital Development Officer within the Business Gateway team for East Dunbartonshire.

She said, "I applied for the Business and Digital Change Graduate position as it tied in with everything I had studied at University. The digital aspect was what excited me most.

"I worked on a number of projects as part of the Council's digital transformation objectives which involved creating robust governance documentation, benchmarking, data cleansing, creating process maps and leading community engagement.

"Leaving university and being not sure on what path to take can be a really daunting experience and this programme gave me the skills and confidence to pursue what I wanted to do. I'd encourage others in the same position to seriously consider the Grad+ Programme. I have found my dream job and I love it."

All the young people whose career progression was interrupted by the pandemic have had their contracts extended. Those who were able to keep up their studies and continue to get work experience, like those in Early Years, did so while others in various roles contributed to the Council's emergency response to the pandemic.

Joint Council Leader Vaughan Moody said, "It is such a positive step forward in our gradual recovery from the pandemic that we are able to bring these two incredibly important Programmes back on stream. Providing these opportunities for local young people is a vital part of our workforce planning, bringing fresh ideas and energy into our Council teams. It also gives them access to excellent on-the-job training, a clear career path and the chance to learn from experienced colleagues."

Twenty-four year old Aidan from Bishopbriggs completed his Construction Management Apprenticeship and is now working within the Council's Major Assets Team.

He is part of the Council's Apprentice Ambassador Programme, set up in August 2019 to encourage other young people in East Dunbartonshire schools to consider Apprenticeships as a next step.

He said, "When I saw what was on offer through the apprenticeship and what my career prospects could look like after completing it, I knew it was what I wanted to do. I attended college as part of my apprenticeship and obtained an HNC in Construction Management and an SQV in Built Environment.

"I shadowed Project Managers on developments like the new Early Years Centre in Milngavie and got lots of experience. This helped with me win Apprentice of the Year at the 2020 APSE awards and Young Employee of the Year in the 2020 EDC STAR awards.

"My advice to anyone thinking of applying for a place on the Modern Apprenticeship Programme is to go for it. You won't regret it."

Apprenticeships run for either two or four years depending on the qualification undertaken, with the Graduate Programme lasting two years. Applicants must be 16-24 for the Modern Apprenticeships and 25 or under for the Grad+ Programme. They must live in or have attended school in East Dunbartonshire or be in the care of the Council to be eligible.

Joint Council Leader Andrew Polson added, "Over the years I have met dozens of enthusiastic and hard-working Modern Apprentices and Graduates and I am looking forward to welcoming the next cohort later in the year. The standard of young people who have participated in our Programmes has been excellent with many award winners doing themselves and the Council proud. This a fantastic opportunity for more local youngsters to get on the career ladder."

The Modern Apprenticeship opportunities are currently advertised on MyJobScotland so please check out the Council page to find out more and apply. The closing date is Wednesday 7 July. And keep a look out for the Grad+ opportunities coming soon.

Local employers interested in finding out more about starting a Modern Apprenticeship Programme can visit Guidance for employers delivering apprenticeships for information, professional advice and support.

Hear from seven of our former Modern Apprentices on their experiences working with the Council and how it has changed their lives for the better. Their advice to anyone considering joining an Early Career programme is simple - go for it! 

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