YOUNG people across Argyll and Bute will have the opportunity to increase their skills, qualifications and work experience as Argyll and Bute Council launches its Modern Apprenticeship Scheme on Friday 23rd May.
The project, agreed by the council’s Policy and Resource Committee at its first meeting on Thursday 15th May, will see up to 25 young people in the first year alone and across the whole area joining Argyll and Bute Council and taking their first steps up the career ladder.
Alongside valuable work experience and on-the-job training across a diverse range of council services, the Modern Apprentices will have the chance to gain accredited qualifications on a wide variety of subjects – meaning they can learn and earn at the same time.
The council hopes to welcome more trainees in September this year but for two Mid Argyll girls, 18-year-old Samantha Newlands and Jenny Blair, aged 19, it has already proven to be a valuable experience. Samantha, from Ardrishaig, and Jenny, who is from Crinan, joined the council’s Customer Services team in May as Modern Apprentices.
Samantha heard about the council’s Modern Apprenticeship opportunities at school and, seeking a career in administration, decided it would be the ideal way to get started in the workplace.
“I did Higher Admin at school and really enjoyed it. I’ve always thought the council is a really good place to work. When I heard about this, it sounded great, with opportunities to learn more and work your way up. My family lives in Argyll and I really want to be able to stay here and have a good career. This is a chance for me to do that,” she explained
Jenny added: “I’ve always been interested in working with the council and I got the chance to do work experience there while I was at school. That was a good stepping stone to the Modern Apprenticeship scheme. I’ve found the training really interesting and everyone has been very helpful. I’ve been able to build on what I learned at school – we are learning how to use different systems and software, as well as shadowing other people and seeing how the process works. It’s really good.”
Argyll and Bute Council Leader, Councillor Dick Walsh, is delighted that the organisation is offering more training and employment opportunities for the area’s young people.
He said: “This is a really exciting opportunity – not only for the council but for young people in all of our communities.
“Modern Apprenticeships will be available in a whole range of council services and across the entire Argyll and Bute area.
“It’s vital that our young people have the best possible chances to build on their skills and get the work experience they need for 21st century careers. These opportunities are crucial, not just for them, but for all of Argyll and Bute as we continue our work to secure a prosperous future and a strong local economy.
“The young people who will join us will bring fresh new ways of working, bright ideas and innovation. They are Argyll and Bute’s future and, by investing in them now, we can make sure that we continue to deliver the very best services that we can for local people, both now and for many years to come.
“I’m very much looking forward to welcoming more Modern Apprentices to Argyll and Bute Council later this year.”
The Modern Apprenticeship scheme will build on the council’s existing work with other agencies through the Argyll and Bute Employability Partnership. As well as launching this project, the Policy and Resources Committee has also agreed to develop other initiatives for the area’s young people. This will include work placements, apprenticeships and traineeships in numerous council departments and locations, so that young people in all areas can benefit from these opportunities.
Modern Apprentices are aged between 16 and 24, depending on the type and level of apprenticeship. There are opportunities in the business administration, food and drink, financial services, ICT, customer services, social care and transport sectors. Apprenticeships last for between one and four years, depending on the qualifications taken, and offer young people the chance to earn a wage while gaining valuable work experience, training and skills.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Modern Apprenticeship opportunities will be advertised over the course of the summer. In the meantime, if you would like to find out more, please contact Julie.Hallett@argyll-bute.gov.uk who will send you some basic information and keep you up to date on when vacancies are advertised and how to apply. You can also find more information at the Skills Development Scotland website