Apprentices at Sefton Council have been praised at a special event to highlight the work and contribution they make.

Sefton Council is committed to improving the employment opportunities of young people across the borough through its successful apprenticeship programme.

Cllr Paul Tweed, Cabinet Member Corporate Services and Performance recently met with some of the apprentices currently on one of the programmes to get feedback and comments.

Currently there are more than 50 young people on an apprenticeship scheme in Sefton, learning through a combination of on and off the job training and education from a wide range of different career opportunities. This includes electrical engineering, finance and administration assistants as well a Ranger working on Sefton’s coast and countryside.

Through the scheme they get to work for a real employer, earn a real salary, gain a real qualification and most importantly gain valuable knowledge, skills and experience that they will be able to use in the future.

A number of Apprentices have recently had success which will support their personal and professional development:

Apprentice Dylan Jones, from Springwell Park Primary School, Bootle who is training as a Facilities Management Assistant Caretaker, recently won the prestigious Sefton Apprentice of Year 2014, from the Liverpool City Region Annual Apprenticeship Awards, held at Knowsley Hall. The aim of the awards was to recognise and celebrate the City Region’s many fantastic Apprentices.

Dylan, who is due to complete his Apprenticeship later this year, was shocked to win this award. The 21-year-old said: “Being on this Apprenticeship Scheme has been one of the best experiences of my life, it has changed me as a person, as I have grown and matured. Winning the Sefton Apprenticeship of the Year Awards has really boasted my confidence and it is a great achievement to include on my CV.”

Apprentice Ben McNally, who is currently doing an Apprenticeship in Electrical Engineering, based at Bootle Leisure Centre, was recently selected to represent Sefton in the inaugural event of the Apprentice Ship Cup on board the Tall Ship, Lady of Avenel. The ship, which was crewed by apprentices from all over the North West raced from Oban, in Scotland to Liverpool’s Albert Dock, via Douglas, Isle of Man. Ben was certainly thrown in at the deep end, quickly picking up skills essential as a crew member, working with a group of people he’d never met before. They pulled together as a team navigating the ship, setting the sails and even taking a shift preparing meals.

Ben, a former St Wilfrid’s Catholic High pupil, said: “I was apprehensive about taking part, but I’m really glad I did. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve not only gained skills in sailing a vessel but the gained essential skills in team building, motivation and leadership. I would certainly recommend and encourage other apprentices to take part in such event the future. The skills I’ve gained will certainly help me in the future.”

Ben is already looking into being a mentor to support a group that will be taking part in next year’s event.

Daniel Hirons, 21, is another success story. Daniel joined the Apprenticeship Scheme in June 2012 initially completing his Level 2 in Administration in April 2013 before completing his Advanced Apprenticeship in December 2013. Upon completing his apprenticeship training he successfully applied for a position with arvato, who work in partnership with Sefton Council.

Daniel, a former Sacred Heart Catholic College pupil, said: “The skills and knowledge I gained during my Apprenticeship certainly put me at a significant advantage when applying for the position, with my local authority background and transferable skills. I’m really glad I did my Apprenticeship with Sefton Council.”

Cllr Paul Tweed, Cabinet Member, Corporate Services and Performance, said: “Sefton’s Apprenticeship Programme, and others like it, provides a valuable opportunity for young people to gain knowledge and experience while gaining a qualification that they can develop and build on in the future. It is great to see our Apprentices with enthusiasm for their roles.

“Today’s employers are looking for people who can demonstrate experience and knowledge in a working environment and those on our Apprenticeship Programme can certainly do that which will give them an advantage when applying for employment in the future.”

Mark Dale, Sefton Council’s Head of Corporate Personnel, added: “We believe that Sefton Council’s Apprenticeship Programme provides excellent opportunities for young people to learn and develop.

“It is good to meet with our apprentices and get their positive feedback, but more importantly to hear their praise and enthusiasm not only for the scheme itself but for the work they are doing and how valued they feel.”

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