Council seeks 15 for apprenticeships

Council bosses in Sunderland are on the lookout for green fingered people who are looking for a horticultural career.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 9:32 am
Former apprentice Joe Chipp in Barnes Park.
Former apprentice Joe Chipp in Barnes Park.

Sunderland City Council has 15 apprenticeships on offer in its local services team - eight in horticulture, five fine turf apprenticeships and two for arborists.The successful applicants will help look after Sunderland's award-winning green flag parks, seafront, colourful planting schemes, open spaces and miles of roadside verges – as well as around 40 football pitches, 14 bowling greens and three cricket pitches.All the apprentices will undertake Level 2 apprenticeship training one day a week at East Durham College and receive regular workplace mentoring.

While the apprenticeships are all fixed term roles ranging from 21 to 22 months, senior environmental services technician Joe Chipp knows they can lead to a career for life.Joe, from Ford, joined the council as apprentice 10 years ago and is now responsible for overseeing the team which helps to look after the city's award winning Barnes Park.

He also helps to keep the city moving during the winter by driving a gritter.

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He said: "If anyone is thinking of signing up to be an apprentice, I'd say go for it. I've never looked back.

"I work outside in the sun, doing everything from grass cutting and hedge trimming to marking out a football pitch. It's not just about planting flowers, there's a lot more to it than that.”Cllr Claire Rowntree, the council’s deputy leader, said: "Apprenticeships provide great opportunities for people of all ages, at any stage of their career. We see them as an integral part of our workforce strategy and as a career development opportunity for people of all ages.

"Many of our apprentices go on to a further apprenticeship, secure a job with the council or use the skills and training they gained to do other things.

"I'd encourage anyone who is interested to apply.”The council offers a competitive starting salary, relevant and focussed on-the-job training, time off work to complete the off-the-job learning, an allocated supervisor/mentor and support to apply for permanent job opportunities during and towards the end of the apprenticeshipAnyone interested in applying for one of the apprenticeships has until July 11 to apply.Go to and search for apprenticeships.