National Apprenticeship Week 2021 - Build the Future

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Apprentices at Southampton City Council will enjoy the spotlight as part of activities taking place in next week's National Apprenticeship Week. The 14th annual event has the theme of ‘Build the Future’ and, as always, showcases the incredible work being done by employers and apprentices across the country.

Over the last few years we’ve supported 181 apprentices and currently have 150 placements underway across the organisation, so we have some great success stories and fantastic achievements to shine a light on next week! Apprenticeships provide invaluable opportunities for existing and new staff members to simultaneously study, work and earn. Upskilling our workforce also offers the council as an employer obvious and tangible benefits.

This year we’ve jumped from 44th to 21st in TheJobCrowd ‘Top Company for Apprentices to Work for’ survey, based on the reviews of our very own apprentices. We secured the top spot in the Public Sector category and for Training, as well as top three for Management.

Look out for our Twitter takeover on Thursday 11 February on @SouthamptonCC, when some of our apprentices will be talking about their experiences and sharing tips and advice and answering questions from anyone interested in finding out more. On Friday 12 February, we’ll be hosting our first ever apprentice graduation event virtually, celebrating those individuals who have successfully completed their apprenticeships with the council over the past year.

The council is also proud to be the lead partner of the Solent Apprenticeship Hub, which offers a free and impartial service that aims to provide expert advice on apprenticeships to any business or individual.

The Hub run the innovative Transfer to Transform scheme which was created with the purpose of providing a platform for larger businesses to support small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in the Solent region, by reallocating unused funding for apprenticeship training to smaller organisations to benefit from. The scheme has now surpassed an exceptional £1,275,000 in pledges, with £1m already distributed across 77 different SMEs in the region, resulting in 87 apprentice starts so far! Not only is this a fantastic opportunity for those apprentices, but also for the SMEs who will benefit from filling skills gaps and having employees who receive the highest standard of training.

Southampton City Council is one of the organisations that has pledged our unused funds. Last year we pledged £100,000 to the scheme. This brings the total to over £305,000 of our apprenticeship levy pot being used to benefit 19 local employers to help them pay for the training of 44 individuals, helping them to grow their businesses.

Cabinet Member for Finance & Income Generation, Councillor Stephen Barnes Andrews said: “National Apprenticeship Week is a wonderful way of marking the achievements of apprentices across the country and the organisations supporting them. Whether it’s existing staff members who are upskilling or those who join businesses in newly created apprenticeships, the benefits for all involved are far reaching.

“I’m looking forward to the events that are taking place next week and finding out more about the work our apprentices are doing.

“The Solent Apprenticeship Hub is making a very real difference to the lives of local people, during the most difficult time our economy has ever known. Their Transfer to Transform initiative is not only making an immeasurable difference to the SMEs that are going to benefit from receiving these funds, but also to the apprentices who will gain invaluable experience, skills and knowledge.”

Visit our Apprenticeships pages to read some case studies of Apprentices who are in placements with Southampton City Council.