Earn while you learn – council urges young people to consider apprenticeships
Dale Spridgeon, local democracy reporter
As the exam results loom and young people face the dilemma of what to do next – a council is encouraging them to consider the option to ‘earn while you learn.’
Gwynedd Council is encouraging young people to explore the option of apprenticeships.
It recently hailed its own apprenticeship scheme as a “success” after the first person on its programme graduated.
Siôn Derwyn Huws from Pwllheli recently received a 2:1 degree from Bangor University in Software Engineering.
As result, he is now employed as an Administrator and Systems Engineer in the council’s IT Department.
And according to the council, there are “many benefits” to following the apprenticeship route.
Apart from ‘earning whilst learning,’ apprenticeships offer ”support and help of experienced people” plus the chance to “complete qualifications, as well as developing a career path.”
The council is also keen to point out, its scheme offers work in a Welsh environment, access to a Local Government Pension Scheme, 24.5 days of annual leave, with additional eight days leave for bank and public holidays
Apprentices are also included in its Flexible Working Hours Scheme and can benefit from a wide internal and external training and development opportunities.
Siôn, was supported by a council apprenticeship and Bangor University’s academic staff for three years.
He was able to study whilst working for the council and receiving a salary.
Siôn said: “Being able to work with supportive and experienced people has given me a good foundation as I look forward to my career.
“I wouldn’t have had this experience if I had followed the traditional route of going to college.”
Keen to encourage others, he added “If you see an opportunity for an apprenticeship with the Council in a subject that interests you, go for it!”
According to the council, apprentices aged under 18, earn £4.81 an hour, and get an annual salary of £9,279.84, whilst 18–20-year-olds earn, £6.83 an hour, annually £13,176.98.
The 21 – 22-year-olds can, earn £9.18 an hour, £17,710.79 annually, the 23 – 24 year-olds, £9.50, £18,328.16 and 25+ £9.50, and £18,328.16.
Traineeships are also suited to the skills and qualifications of the applicants.
There are seven levels ranging from Level 1 the equivalent of GCSE D – G all the way through to the highest Level 6 and Level 7 degree and Masters.
Gwynedd Councillor Menna Jones, the Cabinet Member with responsibility for the area of apprenticeships and promoting talent within the Council, said: “Following the straight academic route after school isn’t for everyone, apprenticeships offer training and employment, it’s just another route that people can consider.
“I was delighted to hear Siôn’s story and there are many more like him who will be able to access great opportunities like this.
“So far, more than 30 apprentices have been appointed to work for the authority and there is an intention to offer jobs to up to 20 apprentices every year from now on.”
To find out more about the apprenticeship scheme visit the Gwynedd Council website or email the team or call 01286 679 599.
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