A long tradition of nurturing talent

This week is National Apprenticeship Week, and South Kesteven District Council has a long tradition of nurturing talent through the earn while you learn scheme.

The combination of workplace training and college study provides apprentices with the opportunity to gain valuable skills and knowledge and gain a nationally-recognised qualification on completion.

SKDC takes on around 13 new apprentices every year and currently has 16 on the books. They range from one-year Customer Service and Business Administration courses, to 31/2 year electrician courses.

SKDC Leader Cllr Kelham Cooke said: "Our apprenticeship programme gives us a connection with the community and offers great opportunities for people to learn skills and develop their careers.

"National Apprenticeships Week is the perfect platform to show how valuable courses can be in providing a real understanding of the working world."

Courses offered by the Council are continually evolving, and it currently has its first three HGV driver apprentices within its waste collection team. The roles were offered after suggestions in a staff survey that more career development opportunities within the team would be welcome.

Others include Team Leader/Line Manager apprenticeships through to accountancy and planning, while three entry level apprentices will be joining shortly - two in Customer Services and one in building control.

Cllr Cooke said: "Apprenticeships are available to local people taking their first steps on the career ladder but are also for those looking for a different career and existing staff who want to develop and broaden their skills range.

"We also continue to explore degree and Masters-level apprenticeships within fields such senior and strategic leadership or in a job-specific field such as Environmental Health.

"As a leading employer in the community, SKDC is proud to offer opportunities for self-improvement or to those who just starting out."


Jack Perry

Apprenticeships are a great way for employers to nurture their own talent and Jack Perry is among the success stories at SKDC.

Jack, now an Organisational and Change Officer, joined SKDC in March 2017 as an apprentice in Projects and Performance. He completed a level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship followed by an Institute of Leadership and Management apprenticeship and was named runner-up in the Apprentice of the Year category in the Grantham Business Awards 2019.

Jack said: "I am putting the knowledge I have gained to use in my current role and hope it will help me develop as a manager, hopefully within SKDC.

"Apprenticeships are a great way into the working world. You learn on the job and also gain other key skills through the academic side of things.

"They provide a great insight into how your place of work operates, build your confidence meeting and working with new people and on different jobs, and can present some incredible opportunities. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending an apprenticeship to anyone - there are great outcomes to be achieved from them."

The latest vacancies can be seen here.