Three male apprentices discussing something

County councils among the ten public sector organisations in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers

At the end of June, the Department of Education released their Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers in the UK, which included no less than ten organisations in the public sector. The fact that so many organisations in the industry are committed to helping those in apprenticeships get into employment is testament to the opportunities that can be created, without going through traditional educational means such as university.

Despite the list containing businesses and organisations from numerous sectors, there were two local councils among some huge names. Somerset County Council appeared 67th out of the 100, with 8.1% of their employees being apprentices and 155 new apprentices starting between 1st April 2021 and March 31st 2022. Durham County Council appeared 90th on the list, with 2.4% of their workforce being apprentices and 214 new apprenticeship starters in the last year.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance at Durham County Council, Councillor Richard Bell, said:

“It is a fantastic achievement to once again be named among the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers in England.

Apprenticeships provide a vital pathway for people to get into employment and gather the skills and knowledge they need to progress their careers. Equally, being able to attract and retain talent enables us to continue delivering high-quality services to communities.”

As mentioned by Cllr Bell, this is a return to the top 100 for Durham County Council, as they ranked one place lower, in 91st, in the 2020 list, as they have also announced that they are recruiting for almost 100 new roles for apprentices. These range from entry to degree level and include positions such as business administration, civil engineering, executive support, and procurement, among others.

The full list of public sector organisations that were included in the list are:

  • Department of Work and Pensions, 5th
  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority, 37th
  • Northumbria Police, 52nd
  • Thames Valley Police, 61st
  • Department for Education, 63rd
  • Somerset County Council, 67th
  • Merseyside Police, 71st
  • Durham County Council, 90th
  • County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue, 95th
  • Valuation Office Agency, 100th

With both central and local governments focusing on levelling up, a part of which is the need to improve and increase the opportunities available for those who are living in more deprived areas of the country, it is important that opportunities such as apprenticeships are embraced by all employers.

On 17 November we’re joined by public sector leaders to explore the key challenges that levelling up brings at the Public Sector Levelling Up Virtual Event. Gain insight into what public sector leaders need to navigate the plan while prioritising communities and how to shift regional inequalities to support people and places. Join us for the full day event by registering here.

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Ep 48. Achieving Net Zero - Cllr Abdul Jabbar - Oldham Council

As central government aims for the UK to be net zero by 2050, councils around the country make plans for how to reduce emissions. This episode’s guest, Oldham’s Councillor Abdul Jabbar outlines the importance of coming together to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint, the benefits of achieving net zero, and how Oldham Council are working to do just that.

Touching on the role that the public sector can play in sustainability, Cllr Jabbar said:

“I think it’s really important that the public sector gives true leadership in this space. I think something like one third of the carbon emissions in the country come from the public sector, so obviously we’re a big polluter in terms of the emissions.”

Councillor Jabbar also spoke about challenges being faced by organisations:

“I think the biggest one has been finance. Clearly the local government sector in particular has had its grants cut from central government by a huge amount and that’s had a very big impact in terms of our plans to take forward projects in relation to climate change, so that’s a major issue.”

To hear what Cllr Jabbar has to say about the mission to achieve net zero carbon emissions, listen to the latest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast.

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