Kent County Council staff recognised for apprenticeship achievements

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More than 20 members of Kent County Council’s staff have attended an awards ceremony to celebrate completing apprenticeships.

A total of 22 employees, of varying ages and from different KCC directorates, were presented with certificates by KCC Leader Paul Carter at Village Hotel Maidstone on Thursday (October 10).

This is the second year the council has held an Apprenticeship Celebration Event to recognise the achievements of its staff.

Mr Carter spoke about his own career path in establishing a number of successful businesses before presenting the certificates.

After the celebration event he said: “Successful organisations are dependent upon the quality of the staff they employ. Good organisations must invest in their staff and make sure that employees receive all of the opportunities for career and personal development. This will help them progress up through their organisation and contribute towards their future success.

The 22 employees received their certificates from KCC leader Paul Carter. Photo credit: Dave Cosens/Photogenic Images

“In KCC, many young trainees are now operating at the highest level within the organisation, whilst others that started their journey as apprentices 10 years ago are rising to the top. They are contributing an enormous amount to the success of KCC as a public sector organisation.

Michelle Flegg, Workforce Development Strategy Manager at KCC, talked about the success of the council’s apprenticeship programme. Photo credit: Dave Cosens/Photogenic Images

“I would like to say well done to everyone whose achievements we are celebrating today, and I would urge them to spread the gospel and encourage more people to take up apprenticeship training at all levels.”

During the ceremony, Michelle Flegg, Workforce Development Strategy Manager at KCC, talked about the success of the council’s apprenticeship programme before congratulating the 22 individuals and encouraging them to continue taking their careers forward.

She said: “We are delighted to be able to celebrate the success of colleagues who have been undertaking apprenticeship training and we would now encourage them to utilise further training to take their career development even further.

“We’re very proud that the leader of the council, Paul Carter, attended the event and presented the certificates. He’s very supportive of the apprenticeship agenda and the apprenticeship work in KCC and we’re very pleased he was able to join us.”

KCC staff member John Hockley started out on a graduate programme and now manages apprentices. Photo credit: Dave Cosens/Photogenic Images

Four KCC representatives shared their apprenticeship journeys with the room. John Hockley and Victoria Gascoine explained how apprentices work within their teams, while Alice Ditcher and Abigail Roscoe, both midway through their apprenticeships, updated colleagues on their progress.

Amanda Beer, Corporate Director for People and Communications at KCC, welcomed attendees to the event, and Mike Hopkins, director of The Development Company, delivered a session on ‘Making an Impact in 30 Seconds’.

Apprentice Alice Ditcher has been offered a full-time job at KCC but will still complete her apprenticeship. Photo credit: Dave Cosens/Photogenic Images

The council offers apprenticeships in areas including social care, business administration and customer service, operational delivery, project management, leadership and management, business improvement and scientific qualifications such as a laboratory scientist. These range from Level 2 (Intermediate Level) to Higher Level Apprenticeships, which are degree-level qualifications. KCC’s recently redesigned Kent Graduate Programme also integrates apprenticeship training as part of the professional pathways. Seven graduates will be starting this month – 396 applied for those places.

Courses can be undertaken by existing KCC employees, or new members of staff can be taken on as apprentices. It is hoped new apprentices will acquire the skills and experience needed to go on to gain permanent employment within the council once their apprenticeship is complete.

Since April 2017, more than 90 people have completed apprenticeship training at KCC while currently there are 296 people on the programme.

KCC can offer apprenticeship training to new and existing staff thanks to an Apprenticeship Levy introduced by the Government in 2017. Recent government reforms mean KCC can now transfer up to 25% of its levy to Kent employers, so apprenticeship training can be offered across the wider Kent workforce.

KCC also runs the Apprentice Kent website, which aims to match young people looking for an apprenticeship with employers wanting to hire an apprentice.


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