National Apprenticeship Week: Get hired

National Apprenticeship Week runs from 5 to 9 March and is a chance to celebrate the success of apprenticeships and how they benefit individuals, businesses and the economy.

Traditionally, apprenticeships have been associated with crafts and manual trades but this has changed in recent years. There are now many different types of apprenticeship available, from fashion to finance, customer service to construction.

As one of the biggest employers in the borough, Hackney Council is playing a leading role in providing apprenticeships for residents and last year launched its ambitious Hackney Apprentices programme which will see 100 apprentices working at the Council during 2018/19.

The Council is currently recruiting for seven Level 3 apprenticeships across a host of Council services including communications and culture, housing, enforcement and executive support.

La Braya Buffong is a digital marketing apprentice at Hackney Council. Her role involves maintaining the Young Hackney website, reformatting and distributing content across all communication channels and creating websites for specific programmes and compiling e-newsletters. She said: “I’m the only person who does this apprenticeship at Hackney and I’m the only female on my course. I’ve learnt a lot about how to manoeuvre the digital world and I’m excited to see where I can go with it.”

Last April, the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced to ensure large employers invest in apprenticeships. The Council supports businesses and other employers in the borough to create high quality apprenticeships and use their apprenticeship levy funds.

Precious Kirton has been working as dry lining apprentice for nearly a year thanks to the Council’s employment support service Hackney Works.

“Construction work really suits me, I’ve found my perfect job!” said Precious. With a background in security and motor vehicle jobs Hackney resident, mum-of-two Precious was looking to return to work after having her family. She completed a two-week dry lining course funded by London Legacy Development Corporation at the National Construction College (NCC) before beginning work with lead contractor Mace and dry lining contractor BDL.

Precious continues: “The training was great and gave me enough confidence in my practical skills to know I’d like to work in the sector. I can see so many young people in my community who would benefit from helping into get into a decent career path like construction. My girls love me working on a construction site and have children’s toolkits so they can be like mum and learn how to use a drill.”

Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources
We are committed to creating more employment and training opportunities for local people and helping to ensure that they have the skills, experience and qualifications to make a success of their chosen career. Our Hackney Apprentices programme has already had a hugely successful year with over 100 apprentices now employed across the Council and schools in the borough.

We want businesses, big and small, to follow our example and help a young person get a foot on the career ladder, help them to gain qualifications while they earn a fair wage in an increasingly difficult labour market. We will work with businesses if they need support to take on an apprentice and also work closely with Hackney residents interested in finding out more about what an apprenticeship can offer them, whether here at the Council or with a Hackney business.
Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources

Hackney Apprentices is open to 16-24 year olds who live in the borough, have been educated in Hackney or are care leavers for whom Hackney Council is a ‘corporate parent’.

All Council apprentices aged over 18 will be paid a starting salary of over £19,000 per year, which is above London Living Wage, and well above the average apprenticeship salary which is around £13,500 per year.

Council apprentices will be given accredited training from a high-quality provider, a package of support including mentoring and social activities, and support to progress into a permanent job or a higher apprenticeship qualification.

The deadline for applications to the current Level 3 apprenticeship vacancies is Sunday 18 March.

The Council will be recruiting apprenticeships again in the summer for over 30 roles in areas including plumbing, electrical, ICT, and youth work.

To find out more and apply for Hackney Apprentices visit: www.hackney.gov.uk/apprenticeships or email apprenticeships@hackney.gov.uk.