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West Lancashire Borough Council celebrates National Apprenticeships Week

West Lancs Council staff members that are on apprenticeship schemes with the Council Chief Executive Kim Webber

West Lancashire Borough Council is celebrating National Apprenticeships Week by reporting that it is exceeding its target for facilitating new apprenticeships at the Council.

The Council is ambitious for the local economy and for inclusive growth in West Lancashire, retaining and growing good quality jobs, increasing skills levels and encouraging business and wealth generation. An important part of these efforts is its work around apprenticeships in offering  them within the authority to help apprentices kickstart their careers and earn as they learn, and helping local businesses create similar positions.

The government has set a target for all public sector organisations to have an average of 2.3% of the workforce undertaking an apprenticeship between 2017 and 2021. Latest figures show that the Council is exceeding this target having created 8 new apprenticeships and providing management and Team Leading apprenticeships to 12 existing members of staff, which means the Council has around 4% of its workforce undertaking apprenticeship training.

Councillor Yvonne Gagen, portfolio holder for Human Resources, said: “West Lancashire Borough Council is ambitious for the local economy. The authority is really proud that it is exceeding its target for apprenticeships which shows we are setting a fine example of facilitating this important pathway into employment and to learn new skills in the workplace.”

The Council works with a number of external providers on apprenticeship schemes for its own staff:

  • INSTEP UK Limited for managers and supervisors apprenticeships
  • West Lancashire College for business admin
  • St Helens College for horticulture
  • Liverpool John Moores University for estates surveying

Shelley Fryer, a Principle Facilities Surveyor for the Council, said: “The management apprenticeship scheme is a great opportunity for me to develop skills and progress within my career at West Lancashire Borough Council, whilst being supported by my employers and line management.”

Steve Bissette, a Clean & Green Team Leader for the Council, said: “I am hoping the scheme will help develop my leadership skills and contribute to the operation of the team.”

As well as creating new apprenticeships within the authority, the Council also works with local businesses to advise them on how to recruit apprentices as part of its role in supporting skills and employment initiatives. Since October 2015 the Council has supported the creation of 55 apprenticeships in small and medium-sized enterprises across West Lancashire.

The Council has worked closely with The Cashroom Limited on the programme of training, as well as the recruitment process for their apprentices.

The company based at the West Lancashire Investment Centre, provides outsourced cashiering services to law firms throughout the UK, as well as being able to provide their clients with management accounts and payroll services.

Over the last three years The Cashroom Limited has developed more than a dozen apprentices, many of whom are still with the business at varying levels of seniority, but all providing a crucial element of The Cashroom’s resources.

Alex Holt, Director of Business Development for The Cashroom said, “We value our apprentices incredibly highly and we are very proud of all of them. As we continue to grow, the apprentice scheme will provide a key element of our resourcing strategy, allowing us to bring in bright young people with the ambition to build careers within our fast growing company. The Council’s team have worked really well alongside us, and we hope will continue to do so.”

Any business wishing to find out more about taking on an apprentice should contact Tracey Shaw by emailing lets.talk@westlancs.gov.uk.

West Lancs Council staff members Clare Lee, Kate Pierce, Peter Quick, Pippa Sandells and Shelley Fryer at the launch of the Management apprenticeship that they are doing

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