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Bernadette Markham – South Ribble Council

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Bernadette Markham (HR Advisor)

South Ribble Council, Local Government sector

South Ribble is a non-metropolitan borough council, based in Leyland. It delivers top quality and efficient local services, working with communities, businesses and partners to make South Ribble a great place to live, work, visit and play. It also holds the coveted Investors in People Gold standard.

Which type of Apprenticeships do you offer?
The council offers all levels of apprenticeships from level 2 through to degree level. The disciplines vary with each intake according to business needs but have included business administration, civil engineering, sports development and horticulture.

Why did you choose to hire an apprentice?
The Council is committed to maintaining a highly skilled workforce to deliver top quality services for residents. Apprentices offer an ideal way of bringing new talent into the workforce, allowing employees to learn and develop as they work and up-skilling existing staff.

What benefits has your company seen from hiring apprentices?
Employees on apprenticeships bring new ideas into the council and learn from experienced colleagues, helping us with succession planning and ensuring we will continue to have a workforce with the skills the council needs to deliver

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about becoming or hiring an apprentice?
Becoming an Apprentice-consider the career pathways to achieving your ambition, would you like to earn while you learn, would you like to gain practical experience in the workplace coupled with working towards a qualification, then becoming an apprentice could be the right choice for you?

Hiring an Apprentice

A cost effective way of recruiting, training and retaining talent that will meet your business needs.

Please tell us a positive story regarding apprenticeships that you can share?
Jack Walker, 18, was named Runshaw College’s Young Apprentice of the Year 2016 at a special event held in the grounds of St Catherine’s Hospice. The Level Four Business Administration student was one of 10 apprentices to be hired by the council during 2015. They all have the chance to ‘earn while they learn’ while at the same time working towards a professional qualification at the renowned Leyland college.

Jack, an avid cricket fan who plays for New Longton, fought off stiff competition to bag the top prize on the night – walking away with an impressive glass trophy.

The former St Mary’s Catholic High School student said: “I was really surprised to even be nominated in the first place so it was a complete shock to win on the night. “I started the apprenticeship in September as I wanted to gain valuable work experience while studying at the same time. I have spent 12 weeks stints with different council departments learning skills that will be invaluable in the future. “I feel proud to have won this award.”

Jack, from Leyland, was nominated after proving to be a shining star as an apprentice. In the nomination to Runshaw College he was described as taking to his role ‘like a duck to water.’

Jack has now secured a permanent role in Gateway at the Council.

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