We're encouraging local businesses to find out how apprenticeships can benefit them during National Apprenticeship Week (Monday, 8 February to Sunday, 14 February).
Our Apprenticeship Advice Service provides tailored support to businesses in Medway which are looking to take on apprentices. The service, which is run by the National Skills Academy for Rail, helps business find apprentices, understand the apprenticeship levy, find training providers and offers support and advice. Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way to help businesses develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. Businesses can also adapt apprenticeship training to the needs of their business as well as expanding and upskilling their workforce.
During National Apprenticeship Week the advice service will be running a series of webinars to help employers and apprentices during National Apprenticeship week. The webinars include lunchtime sessions for Medway employers looking for apprentices as well as information on apprenticeships in specific sectors such as digital, creative, agriculture, construction, manufacturing, engineering and rail.
In October 2020 we were named as one of the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers in the country. The rankings were developed by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with student and graduate research company High Fliers Research. We ranked 79th and was one of the top six local authorities on the list.
We currently employs 159 apprentices who are working towards a range of apprenticeships from intermediate level 2 to degrees and masters qualifications.
Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to learn new skills
Cllr Jane Chitty, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation, said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for residents to learn new skills, develop their expertise or try something completely new. They also provide opportunities for young people who may not wish to go to college or university after leaving school. I would encourage anyone looking for an apprenticeship to find out more about the diverse range of apprenticeships we offer at Medway Council on our website. Business owners are also encouraged to find out more about how apprentices can benefit their business by taking part in one of our webinars.
“We understand that, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, some residents and young people may be finding it particularly hard to find a job which is why apprenticeship schemes are even more important. I would urge residents to find out more about the apprenticeship opportunities available.”
Loved the learning experience
Lisa Maryott from our planning team is currently undertaking a Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship Level 6. She said: “I have loved the learning experience covering a wide range of topics. I have brought this experience back to Medway to help and support my colleagues in the Planning Service and the wider organisation and furthering my career.”
Harley Gorse is a third-year electronic systems Technical Apprentice at BAE Systems in Rochester. He is currently testing and fault finding on the HAWK Mission Systems Computers/Auto-Pilot Control Units so they can be shipped to customers worldwide.
Before joining the apprenticeship scheme, Harley attended Greencare Academy in Chatham, but it wasn’t until the start of Sixth Form when he decided to pursue a career within engineering. As a hands-on person with an interest in aircraft and engineering, it seemed like the right career path to pursue and since then Harley says it’s been the perfect fit and he hasn’t looked back.
Going through the apprenticeship scheme is the best thing I have ever done
Talking about his experiences Harley said: “Going through the apprenticeship scheme is the best thing I have ever done. It has given me so many opportunities to learn skills and gain work experience that I would never have been able to get if I went to university. Working for BAE Systems provides endless opportunities and the potential to progress within the business which is exactly what I want to do.”
Harley was recently given the opportunity to become the National Apprentice Counsellor for the Rochester site. This role will give him the opportunity to visit other BAE Systems locations, meet new people and bring fresh ideas to the council so that the apprenticeship programme can continue to improve year on year.