Burnley Council has reiterated its strong record of supporting apprenticeships and its ongoing commitment to creating a culture of passing on experience, skills and knowledge in order to support skills development for the future benefit of our town and its community.
This week businesses and organisations across the country are marking National Apprenticeship Week.
Since May 2017 employers with pay bills in excess of £3 million per annum have been required to pay an apprenticeship levy which funds the training costs for apprenticeships.
The council is required to make an annual payment of approximately £18,000.
Since the changes to funding were introduced the council has continued its commitment to provide apprentice posts in its workforce, also encouraging existing employees to take up the opportunities the new funding arrangements offer for higher level apprenticeships.
The Government requires that public sector organisations aim to have at least 2.3% of their workforce in apprenticeships. Burnley Council’s current level is 8.25%, which has risen from 3.2% over the past 12 months.
This year’s Burnley Business Awards, which is organised by the council, also has a dedicated Apprenticeship Scheme of the Year award to acknowledge the positive impact these schemes have on individuals, local businesses, and the local economy.
Council leader Mark Townsend said: “Encouraging and supporting the development of our young people in the workplace is vital for the future of our local economy. We need to nurture these young people and provide a fertile environment so that they can develop their skills and make the most of their potential.
Kate Ingram, strategic head of the council’s economy and growth unit, said: “Many young people are now opting for the apprenticeship route rather than going to university.
"Burnley has a great selection of apprenticeship providers, including UCLan, Burnley College, Themis and Project Digital, delivering a range of industry-based apprenticeships and the recently launched degree level apprenticeship schemes.
"The Digital Degree Apprenticeship enables young people to get a degree whilst gaining real work experience and getting paid. Apprenticeships have proved to be a great asset to upskilling our businesses.”
Some of the council’s apprentices explained why they thought the scheme is for them:
“I chose to do an apprenticeship as it means that I can gain experience on the job with real life situations at the same time as gaining a qualification.” Jessica
“I chose an apprenticeship as I didn’t feel like university was the right choice for me. I wanted to gain a range of experiences and skills within a workplace whilst earning money. Doing an apprenticeship opened up a lot of things for me. It has made me realise that I want to go into full-time work and I would also like to study a part-time degree in business management.” Robie-Lea
“I chose to do an apprenticeship with Burnley Council as I was unsure of what career path I wanted to take after sixth form. By completing a Level 3 Business Administration NVQ, it allowed me to gain valuable work experience and a useful qualification. The council also provided me with the opportunity to complete a business management degree which I am currently studying”. Alex