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Council is Committed to Support Local Young People Through Apprenticeships

Published on: 2 Nov, 2017
Updated on: 2 Nov, 2017

A green-fingered bunch of employees have joined Guildford Borough Council’s parks and countryside team to grow their careers through its apprentice scheme.

In the picture taken to welcome Guildford Borough Council’s new apprentices within its parks and countryside department are, from left: Cllr Matt Furniss, Michael Kennedy, GBC’s Liam Sweeney, GBC’s Paul Stacey, Anne Milton MP, Cllr Richard Billington, Sam Cheesman, Aaron Storey, GBC’s managing director James Whiteman, GBC council leader Cllr Paul Spooner, and GBC’s Peter O’Connell. The apprentices are wearing orange jackets.

Over the past three years the council has trained 30 apprentices and interns, as part of its commitment to support local young people with an opportunity to gain valuable skills and work experience.

Apprentices and interns have been employed in a number of trainee roles across the council as gardeners, in business support, as engineering technicians, legal apprentices, digital content interns, and sports development interns.

One recent success story from the council’s apprentice scheme is Sam Cheesman. He joined Guildford Borough Council in 2015 as a parks apprentice, was selected to attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show as one of the best students on his course and was shortlisted for APSE apprentice of the year in 2016. Sam is now permanently employed by the council as a gardener.

Sam said: “I really enjoy working in the parks team. I learned a lot during my time as an apprentice and the training I received really helped when it came to successfully applying for a permanent role at the council.”

The leader of the council, Cllr Paul Spooner, said: “We’re delighted to welcome our latest apprentices and we look forward to helping them develop the skills and knowledge they need for a successful career.

“Apprenticeships offer an important opportunity for paid on-the-job training, often alongside college courses, and we will continue to develop our apprenticeship scheme for young people locally.”

Its lead councillor for rural economy, countryside, parks and leisure, Richard Billington, added: “The apprentices we have welcomed in our parks team have made a really positive impact.

“Their hard work and dedication, both at work and at college, has made them a great asset to our service, helping to keep our parks and countryside beautiful for all residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Guildford’s MP, Anne Milton, who is also a government minister for apprenticeships and skills, said she is thrilled Guildford Borough Council is “really pushing ahead and finding opportunities for people to develop their skills”.

She added: “Apprenticeships are a great way to learn while you earn and offer a brilliant opportunity to get on the employment ladder.”

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Responses to Council is Committed to Support Local Young People Through Apprenticeships

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    November 3, 2017 at 12:32 am

    At long last something the council is doing right.

    Apprenticeships are the best way forward, giving ‘proper’ hands-on training for life and work.

    The head technician of a nuclear power station once said to me: “Give me a university graduate and in four years he can be left on his own to do his work.”

    My response was: “I’ll give you a well-trained apprentice and you can leave him on his own to get on with the job the moment he arrives!”

    Well done Guildford Borough Council for actually training staff.

    [Ed: Among his other activities locally, Jim Allen is the membership secretary of Royal Aircraft Establishment Ex-Apprentices’ Association.]

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