Sunderland bosses are saying 'You're hired' to apprentices across the city

Employers across Sunderland have come together to support apprenticeships as a career opportunity.

By Sue Kirby
Sunday, 17 March, 2019, 16:16
Front: Coun Michael Mordey with apprentice Adam Atkinson, Rear: Kate McCafferty, Iain Crowe, Courtney Dobie, Lewis McNeil, Ian Hall, Joe Blacklock andGraeme Hurst.

Sunderland City Council is one of those promoting the increasing employment and training opportunities available to people across the city, through workplace apprenticeships.

Apprentices are employed across the council in a variety of roles from policy and communications to environmental and technical services.

Front: Graeme Hurst, Kate McCafferty and Coun Michael Mordey. Rear: Apprentices Joe Blacklock, Courtney Dobie, Iain Crowe, Ian Hall, Lewis McNeil and Adam Atkinson.

An increasing number of businesses in Sunderland employ apprentices who use their workplace based vocational training to develop their skills and boost their long-term employability and career prospects.

Deputy Leader for Sunderland City Council, Coun Michael Mordey said: "Apprenticeships provide great opportunities not only for school leavers and graduates, but also for people at any stage of their career.

"Apprentices help bring new ideas and enthusiasm into the workplace, and their employers help them develop existing skills and identify new ones so it's a mutually beneficial business arrangement.

"In Sunderland we are committed to providing everyone with the best possible education, training and employment opportunities that we can, and apprenticeships have an increasingly important part to play in helping us to achieve that."

Joe Blacklock, 19, from Hetton who is an apprentice with the authority's infrastructure and commercial department, said: “Apprenticeships are a great way of gaining valuable work experience, I have one day at college and the rest of the week split between working on-site and the design office.

“My long term aim is to become a group engineer and the training and experience I’m getting is hopefully going to help me achieve that.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

His colleague, Courtney Dobie, 21, said: "I was studying graphics at university but realised it wasn’t for me, and saw an online advert for apprenticeships here so applied.

"I’m involved with lot of design based work in highways and traffic, and want to eventually become a civil engineer.”

Adam Atkinson, 23, is a customer services apprentice working in the city and neighbourhood department helping people calling with concerns ranging from litter and wheelie-bins, to potholes and anti-social behaviour.

Adam said: “I previously worked in call centres dealing with financial services, but this was an opportunity to work at the council across departments and use my skills to help people in a different way.

“I listen to their concerns, and then explain the process of what will happen next to address them and people and timescale involved.”

Iain Crowe, 23, from Roker is a digital apprentice working with the council’s communications team to keep residents informed about services, events and activities across the community.

Iain, a marketing graduate, said: “My apprenticeship is a great opportunity and can hopefully help lead me into getting a more permanent role with the council."

During national Apprenticeship Week employers and training providers including Siglion, Gentoo and Sunderland College held apprenticeship open days and advice sessions on opportunities within the automotive industry, construction, trade and building skills.

To find out more about apprenticeship scheme in the city visit Sunderland.Apprenticeship@sunderland.gov.uk.