50 young people offered apprenticeships at council

The popular TV show might be a quest for just the one, but one North East council has now taken on more than 50.

While the hunt for an apprentice singular captivates viewers on both sides of the Atlantic, Durham County Council has just recruited 53.

And that number could have been tenfold – with more than 500 young people having applied for the apprenticeships opportunities.

The apprentices are working across most council departments ranging from business admin to civil engineering, bricklayer to financial management, technical theatre assistant to large goods vehicle fitter, corporate fraud investigators to highways operatives, catering to corporate procurement.

They vary from Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3), higher (Level 4) to Degree (Level 6.)

Cllr Jane Brown, the council’s Cabinet member for social inclusion and human resources, said: “Our staff truly are our greatest asset and it’s really exciting to have this influx of enthusiastic young people with new ideas beginning what we all hope will be long and successful careers with us.”

Cllr Alan Napier, the council’s deputy leader and Cabinet member for finance, added: “The sheer number of new apprentices we have taken on shows our commitment to investing in our young people, and the future of both County Durham and the organisation.”

An induction day was held for the apprentices at which they were welcomed by the council’s chief executive Terry Collins; met Cllr Napier, managers from across the authority and trade union representatives; and learned more about the organisation and how it works.

Among the new starters are human resources apprentices Emily Anderson and Katelyn English.

Emily, 18, said: “As a human resources apprentice, I get to see the plans as they unfold with the apprenticeship programme and what a fantastic opportunity it is to be a part of.”

Katelyn, 21, added: “The induction day was a fantastic event, being able to meet all the other apprentices was a great way to start off my career with the council.”