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Craven District Council celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

Craven District Council has been celebrating the achievements of its apprentices during National Apprenticeship Week.

Apprentices 2016

There are currently seven apprentices working in different departments of the council, and many more who began their working lives in an apprenticeship programme.

The scheme allows young people to gain valuable work experience while earning and studying at the same time, offering a route into careers or further study.

Emma Middleton, 21, from Skipton, is an administration assistant in the Business Support team. She started at Craven District Council in May 2012 after leaving school and spending two years working as a hairdresser. Emma is now working full time at the council and also working towards a law degree two nights a week.

"The apprenticeship gave me a good base for finding out exactly what I wanted to do with my career," she said. "It was a really good opportunity. When I get my law degree I'd like to focus on either business or family law."

Beth Sculpher, 19, from Clitheroe, has been doing a year's apprenticeship as an arts development assistant. She joined the scheme after finishing her A-levels. "I didn't feel that university was what I wanted to do so I thought an apprenticeship was the best thing for me," she said.

"It's been really good - I've learnt loads. I've been allowed to be independent and gained a lot of experience. It's helped me think about what I want to do in the future." Beth is now planning to travel abroad looking for more experience in event management and ultimately hopes to work on live music events and music festivals.

Nigel Halliday, 22, from Saltaire, is an apprentice mechanic working for the Waste Management team at Engine Shed Lane. He has been taking part in the scheme for just over two years. "I've always been interested in cars, always been a big petrol-head," he said. "The apprenticeship has been very good, I've learnt a lot of things in the time I've been there. Hopefully one day I'll go on to open my own garage."

Joanne Garnett, Business Support Services Manager, said: "The Apprentices are high quality and motivated young people who are filling our workforce gaps for the future.  They learn specific skills from the start and develop specialist knowledge.

"Most of our Apprentices get the chance to work in different services, for example, Environmental Health, Housing, Planning - and then from that they can pick up on the kind of things that they enjoy doing.

"We're giving them lots of opportunities, not only to pick up skills, but options for future careers which will help them gain employment in the future.

"The majority of our Apprentices are recruited within Craven District Council with others gaining successful employment elsewhere - some have wanted to continue their education and gone on to good universities."

Craven District Council's Apprenticeship Schemes usually offers one or two years' employment, offering young people the chance to 'earn and learn' in the workplace.  Apprentices usually attend college one day a week, depending on the specific course they are taking, and can achieve recognised qualifications in a wide range of environments.