chesterfield apprenticeships

College to support employers following extension to the apprenticeship incentive scheme

Principal and Chief Executive of The Chesterfield College Group, Julie Richards, has welcomed the news that the Government plans to extend the apprenticeship incentive and Kickstart schemes.

Following Rishi Sunak’s announcement last week, she has pledged to continue to help and support employers in the area who wish to take advantage of the incentives available before they end in 2022.

Since the incentive schemes were announced last year, as part of the Government’s Covid recovery plans, the college has supported over 300 employers to access bonus payments of up to £4,000 to recruit almost 400 apprentices.

Speaking about how the college was best placed to help more local employers take advantage of the incentives, Julie Richards said:

“Apprenticeships have always offered a fantastic opportunity to fill skills gaps and develop people. The bonus payment is designed to help employers feel more secure in their ability to cover the cost of recruiting an apprentice. Apprenticeships provide our young people with specific opportunities to develop their skills and secure meaningful employment which supports their financial independence and prepares them for adult life and a successful career.”

“As a local college we are committed to matching the needs of employers with the skills and talents of young people. I urge employers to contact the college to understand how the scheme may work for them. Our team are experts in supporting employers to develop a programme of skills development which will have long lasting benefits both for them and the local economy.”

The experienced team are helping organisations, large and small across Derbyshire and the East Midlands, to find the best candidates for their apprenticeship vacancies. They have a talent pool of students and applicants ready to find their next step in the world of work and are supporting businesses to navigate the recruitment process to secure their new apprentice.

Matt Cryans, Director at Crytec Ltd, a company based in Clay Cross, which sells machinery for construction, forestry and manual handling, told us about his experience of recruiting his first apprentice and making the most of the incentive scheme with the support of the college.

He said: “The scheme covers a decent proportion of an apprentice’s wages so it gives you confidence to recruit. The extra funding certainly helps you to make the move to grow the team when things feel a bit uncertain. The team at college made it easy to apply for the funding and supported me through the steps of taking on an apprentice.”

Find out more about the apprenticeship bonus scheme and the support available for Kickstart here https://www.chesterfield.ac.uk/extension-to-4000-apprenticeship-incentive-and-kickstart-scheme/

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

New apprentice software engineer bolsters the Weightron Bilanciai team

Weightron Bilanciai has announced a further addition to its apprenticeship program with the hiring of new Software Engineer, Reece Berry.

The move follows on from the successful completion of a Graduate Apprenticeship scheme at Sheffield Hallam University of an existing Software Developer.

Reece, 18, said: “Before I joined Weightron I studied A-Levels at St Mary’s Sixth Form in Chesterfield where I did the subjects ICT, English Literature and Drama.

“I chose to go down the apprenticeship route as I was passionate about IT and software development. I had the option to go to university, but I wanted to work in a real live environment to gain a mixture of skills that would benefit me in multiple ways.

Weightron Bilanciai is providing me with training, support and skills I require to undertake the challenge of becoming a highly skilled software engineer and developer, this has given me the chance to explore and learn areas of IT I never knew about.

“I would highly recommend doing an apprenticeship to those who are searching for a job.”

Instead of taking the ‘traditional’ university route, an apprenticeship enables young people to learn and work whilst receiving an income, and have the determination to progress further.

Reece added: “Weightron Bilanciai have also given me the option to obtain a degree qualification at Sheffield Hallam University whilst working, this would also enable me to have a recognized qualification without the burden of university fees.”

There are many opportunities for young people across Chesterfield to get onto the career ladder via an apprenticeship. The innovative ‘My Future’ platform gives learners the option to:

• Meet local employers and explore apprenticeship opportunities
• Work with training providers to learn about and access courses that are available
• Virtually visit post 16 institutions including colleges and universities
• Learn about the employment opportunities in your town

Chesterfield was also the first town in the UK to declare itself an ‘Apprentice Town’, demonstrating its commitment to growing the future and careers of young people alongside business and the economy.

Weightron Bilanciai supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

Woodhead Group apprentices shine to take company award

The most recent cohort of Technical Apprentices working at Robert Woodhead Ltd are excelling that much so, that they received the firm’s ‘Values Champions Award’ this quarter.

Aaron Wathall and Sam Bartram began their apprenticeship journey in January 2020, during an uncertain time due to Covid-19. They studied for college remotely and adapted to the Covid-19 regulations within the working environment extremely well, showing resilience and determination.

Although, both were able to attend site; Aaron is based at Eastglade, a housing development with Nottingham City Homes for Nottingham City Council and Sam is based at Northgate, a housing development in partnership with Newark & Sherwood Homes.

It was clear that both Aaron and Sam started to build their confidence and skill sets early on, as they impressed both mentors and teachers at college and on site.

Robert Woodhead Ltd.’s Business Support Manager, Matt Bust, who is mentoring both Apprentices commented on their progression so far:

“They have integrated into the business extremely well, right from the beginning. I have received fantastic feedback from both their tutors at college and mentors on site. You can see that they have a clear passion for the construction industry and their skills are continuing to develop as well as their confidence. It is a delight to see our company values shining through their projects and everyday tasks.”

Aaron showed determination and had the confidence to approach his tutor at college asking how he could improve his grades, and if he was able to re-write an essay: “It has been a great experience so far in all areas of the business that I have worked in, and some of the knowledge I have picked up during my apprenticeship has been priceless.”

Sam also demonstrated courage as he would continue to always ask for more help if he was struggling, resulting in his knowledge of the construction industry growing, as well as his confidence: “It is a great opportunity for me as I’m learning every day and I am being supported immensely by Matt, Woodhead’s, and my mentors at college. I am really enjoying my time with the group; every day is different, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in the company.”

“The knowledge and experience gained from the apprenticeship can help you to decide on your future career, as you will have discovered a passion for a certain sector in the industry.”

Both Aaron and Sam have finished learning about Project Management and Site Management and now will be moving onto their next rotation in Quantity Surveying.

The company recently announced a partnership with Chesterfield College to improve apprenticeship opportunities in the construction sector for future generations. Read about the initiative here.

Robert Woodhead Ltd. supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Local apprentices set to be honoured at brand-new awards

Chesterfield and North Derbyshire are set to name its top apprentice next month. The winner of the Apprentice of the year accolade will be named at the brand-new 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards, organised by Destination Chesterfield in association with Entire FM – Complete Facilities Management.

Sally Grattage (35) from Chesterfield Borough Council, Chris Guard (25) of Guard Business Solutions and Ellie Gibson (21) who is employed by Heathcotes Group, have all been shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year award.

Sponsored by DBC Training, the award recognises apprentices that have made a significant contribution to the success of a local organisation. The winner of the prestigious accolade will be announced at a black tie awards ceremony at the Winding Wheel Theatre on Wednesday 20 October.

The Love Chesterfield Awards combine the long-running Chesterfield High Street and Food and Drink Awards, both of which have honoured apprentices in the town each year in recognition of the valuable contribution apprentices and apprenticeships make to the local economy.

Proud to be shortlisted Sally Grattage, who is undertaking a Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship with Chesterfield Borough Council commented: “After working in the sports and leisure industry for 18 years, never did I think I would be undertaking an apprenticeship at the age of 35. To be shortlisted for this award has been a real surprise as to me; I am one to always go the extra mile to ensure my work is done to the highest of standards but, to me, that is what you do. It makes me so proud of my achievements so far.”

Through her apprenticeship Sally hopes to be able to help sports centres reach their fullest potential using digital marketing.

Sally’s boss Chris Wright, Operations Manager at Queen’s Park Sports Centre added: “The development of our marketing since Sally has been engaged in the apprenticeship has definitely improved. Sally has also been able to audit our marketing activity so we can continue to progress. The projects that she does for her apprenticeship are chosen as they have a direct impact upon the centres. They are real challenges to our service that, once completed, benefit our customers and our bottom line.”

Chris Guard, who has recently completed his Infrastructure Technician apprenticeship was delighted to be shortlisted for the award. He said: “I typically tend to just keep my head down and crack on. Being shortlisted for the Love Chesterfield Awards was a surprise but it showed me that even though I keep focused on my work, it hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

Following the completion of his apprenticeship, Chris, who is IT Systems Manager at Guard Business Solutions, is now undertaking a finance course in order to qualify as a bookkeeper.

Steven Guard, CEO of Guard Business Solutions commented: “Chris is a very driven individual and took on the apprenticeship with real gusto. As he progressed, he has taken on other duties within his role expanding his skills and knowledge further than the bounds of his apprenticeship. He has proved to be an invaluable member of the team and continues to learn, utilising newer technologies.”

After heading to university to do tourism and events management, Ellie Gibson (21) decided that earning and learning in a different environment would be more suited to her.

The former Bolsover School student, who has completed her Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship is delighted to be shortlisted for the award: “Heathcotes was offering something completely different to what I was doing before, which made a nice change, and there is a high success rate with apprentices here too. I was very surprised to be shortlisted for this award but it’s nice to know that others have noticed my hard work.”

Brendan Kelly, Managing Director at Heathcotes Group added: “We took on an apprentice to ensure that we are accessing enterprising young people who can grow into roles within the business. It’s been brilliant having Ellie at the business, she has matured into a genuine asset.”

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield added: “Apprentices are incredibly important to the town and creating opportunities for young people is right at the forefront of our plans. Required skills are constantly changing in the modern, fast-pace working world and having that pool of young talent is crucial to allow our businesses to thrive.”

The Apprentice of the Year is one of 16 categories in the new 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards. In addition to apprentices, the new awards also recognise the contribution of entrepreneurs, regeneration projects, sustainability and community activities to the town’s economy over the last two years.

See the full list of 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards finalists here: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/lovechesterfieldawards/finalists/

The 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards are supported and made possible by a number of sponsors and partners, including: Addooco IT, Banner Jones Solicitors, BHP Accountants, Chesterfield Borough Council, Chesterfield Digital High Street, The Chesterfield College Group, DBC Training, Derbyshire Times, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), Entire FM – Complete Facilities Management, Evoluted, Greatest Hits Radio South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, Hoods Florist, JP Fire Safety Solutions, MSE Hiller, Peak Pharmacy, Reflections Magazine, Shorts Chartered Accountants, Spirecross Ltd and Van Dyk by Wildes.

Peter Swallow added: “It’s never been more important to show our appreciation of the business community, so we’d love for the awards ceremony to be our biggest and best yet. This can only be made possible with sponsorship.”

Destination Chesterfield has one sponsorship opportunity remaining for the Café/Tea Room of the Year category. If you would like to support the town, please visit https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/lovechesterfieldawards/sponsors/sponsorshippackages/ or contact Tara Underhill, Senior Destination Chesterfield Coordinator by emailing Tara.underhill@chesterfield.co.uk or calling 01246 207 207.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Chesterfield Retail Awards, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Leisure, Love Chesterfield, Love Chesterfield Awards, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Find the route to success with an Apprenticeship in Wholesale, Distribution and Export

Wholesale, Distribution and Export offers various job opportunities from the warehouse floor, to delivery, marketing, management and much more.

There are many benefits to using an apprenticeship as a career route and this blog explores the views from current apprentices.

Wholesale, Distribution and Export

Chesterfield is an ideal location for Wholesale, Distribution and Export businesses due to the network links and easy access to the M1 motorway.

We have seen an increase in business opportunity in this sector through the Markham Vale development. Businesses located at the 200-acre business park include Daher Aerospace Limited, Great Bear, Ferdinand Bilstein, Grangers Ltd, MSE Hiller and Industrial Ancillaries.

The Apprentice Perspective

Kacey Pagliano – Superior Wellness

Superior Wellness is a distributor, importing from several countries to offer a wide choice of hot tubs, swim spas and other related products to their trade and retail customers.

Kacey recently started an apprenticeship at Superior Wellness working in the Logistics team.

 Why did you choose an apprenticeship in this sector and what do you enjoy about it?

“The apprenticeship is to help me achieve my business admin qualification. I knew that an apprenticeship was right for me because I have always found it easier to learn in the moment instead of sitting in the classroom and learning by textbooks.

The benefits of choosing an apprenticeship are that it is more hands on with the job and the team are helping you learn whilst you help them.”

What are the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship as a route to get into the sector?

“The apprenticeship is a great way for me to get an understanding and knowledge of how the working world works. By doing the apprenticeship it is helping me reach my goal of working in the logistics industry.”

What are your ambitions for your future career?

“I am currently working on my 18-month apprenticeship and hoping to have a job with Superior Wellness after completion. My role in the team is to help in any way I can while learning new skills at the same time. This may be answering phones and doing small tasks that have a big impact on the team if they aren’t completed.

I am enjoying my apprenticeship because in the first month the team have made me feel welcome and part of the team. They have helped me with new tasks, they all encourage me to try new tasks and even meet new people in the company that I don’t work with on a day to day basis. I definitely recommend an apprenticeship. It is a great way to get into the world of work straight from school.”

Fraser Bowman – Peak Pipe Systems

Peak Pipe Systems is a UK leader in the manufacture and supply of polyethylene (PE) multi-utility pipeline solutions. They supply to a comprehensive network of partner merchants and distributors who offer UK coverage.

Fraser is a Level 3 Maintenance & Operations Engineering Technician apprentice.

 Why did you choose an apprenticeship in this sector and what do you enjoy about it?

“I knew full time college probably wouldn’t give me the challenge I was looking for. I also enjoy money. The money and on-the-job training gives you valuable experience which you definitely would not get with full time college.

I like how every job I do is different, and they aren’t afraid to push me. The company I work for clearly want me to do well so it gives me more motivation to work hard. The variation and working on tools are exactly what I do daily so its spot on for that. The engineers I work with are clever blokes and I learn something new from them pretty much every day. I have a good relationship with everyone, whether that be in the office or out on the shop floor so it’s not like I sit on my own all day being quiet, which makes things even more interesting.

College is something that I really enjoy as I have made a couple new friends there who I would describe as some of my best and I would have never of met them without doing what I do now, so that’s a bonus. I enjoy seeing my own progress and sometimes I even shock myself with how much I have learnt so far.”

What is your advice for someone looking to start a career in this sector?

“If you want to be a maintenance engineer, you must be eager to learn about what it is you are maintaining. You also need to show that you are confident around people of all walks of life and show that you aren’t just going to sit there and not be proactive when there is a breakdown. Being confident and talking to people also seems to give people the confidence that you also know what you’re doing. I think showing people that you want to learn is the main thing because you have to definitely do lots of it.”

You can find out more from current apprentices in Chesterfield here.

Apprenticeships Vacancies

You can find all current apprenticeship vacancies available in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire here.

Superior Wellness are currently looking for a Business Administrator Apprentice.

Businesses at Markham Vale also have a range of apprenticeship vacancies available:

People searching for work in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire are invited to a Chesterfield Market Recruitment event. You can learn about Kickstart vacancies, meet employers and get help to perfect your CV. Find out more about the event here.

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Free online event set to help school leavers access apprenticeships and training opportunities in Derbyshire

A brand new virtual event is being held for young people in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire who find themselves at a careers crossroads since leaving school.

The free ‘Apprentice Town – Find Your Apprenticeship’ event is taking place on Tuesday 10 August – A Level results day and just two days before GCSE results day on Thursday 12August. It is designed to showcase apprenticeship vacancies and support available to both Year 11 and 13 school leavers.

Held online to ensure it is as accessible to as many young people as possible Destination Chesterfield is working with Chesterfield Borough Council to deliver the event as part of the Apprentice Town initiative.

To ensure the event is easily accessible, pre-registration is not necessary; it’s just a case a clicking a MS Teams or Zoom weblink on the day at www.chesterfield.co.uk/events/apprentice-town-find-your-apprenticeship

The event brings together seven apprenticeship and training providers from across North Derbyshire, including Apprentice Team, Buxton and Leek College, Chesterfield College Group, DBC Training, GBS Apprenticeships, Juniper Training and University of Derby.

During the day-long online event, which begins at 10am, each provider will deliver a 45-minute session on the wide variety of opportunities and training available. Available opportunities range from Kickstart placements and college courses as well as apprenticeship vacancies currently available in Chesterfield, across a range of occupations including Beauty Therapy and the police force as well as many more.

Delighted to be involved in the initiative Julie Richards, Principal and Chief Executive of The Chesterfield College Group said: “This event provides a fantastic opportunity to explore the benefits of apprenticeships and the wide range of opportunities available in the local area. We are delighted to be able to share the range of exciting vacancies on offer and highlight the support we can offer to people looking to develop skills whilst earning a wage and developing a career.”

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council and Vice Chair of Destination Chesterfield, said: Apprenticeships are fantastic for both the employer and employee. We’re lucky in Chesterfield that we have a strong network of apprenticeship providers, with lots of experience in ensuring a placement helps the apprentice gain new skills, while also providing support and guidance to the employer.

“There are always lots of varied apprenticeship opportunities available in Chesterfield. This event will promote what’s on offer and support both employers and individuals to access them. As an Apprentice Town we are committed to raising awareness and increasing participation in apprenticeships and we would encourage anyone who is looking for the first step into work – or a change of career direction – to get involved in the event and see what local opportunities are available.”

For a full itinerary of the free ‘Apprentice Town – Find Your Apprenticeship’ event and to access all training providers talks and Q&A sessions visit free www.chesterfield.co.uk/events/apprentice-town-find-your-apprenticeship/

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Love Chesterfield, Made in Chesterfield, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , , , ,

GBS Apprenticeships expands into new Chesterfield town centre offices

Chesterfield-based training provider GBS Apprenticeships has expanded its operations, by moving into a new premises at Chesterfield’s Markham House.

GBS provides a wide range of training programmes, with courses ranging from one-day tailored solutions to employer-led apprenticeship programmes that support businesses in sustainable growth.

The company was previously situated in Chesterfield’s Market Hall, however the move to Markham House comes after a period of significant growth over the last few years.

Chesterfield MP and Shadow Minister for Apprenticeships & Skills, Toby Perkins was in attendance at the event.

Declaring the new GBS office officially open, he said: “It’s really important that there is a huge investment in the next generation so it is fantastic to have worked with GBS Apprenticeships over the last year or so. I’ve actually got an apprentice from GBS working in my office too.

“I think it really is important that we make sure all businesses know we can invest in the next generation coming through, and that there is funding there to support businesses who want to take an apprentice on.”

Steven Guard, CEO at GBS Apprentices commented: “We now have three really good-sized training rooms and can accommodate a lot more people in the centre. It is really ideal having the job centre nearby and other services around us to make a difference locally providing a quality education to young adults and older apprentices too.

“What we want to do with this centre is make it a resource for Chesterfield. Not only is it a great centre for us to deliver our training, we want it to be a facility for other partnerships and initiatives in Chesterfield to use as a venue to further the initiatives that are going on here.

“We’re aiming to be a digital centre and really start to be able to equip people with those vital digital skills that can get them on those career paths. We want to be that go-to place where people can come. We’ll never stop speaking to people and giving advice to people. We need to have that community of providers to make the best of what we have here in Chesterfield.”

GBS Apprentices support the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

 

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

Public Sector Apprenticeships: A Platform for Progression

A career in public sector offers a variety of job roles from working in local government, teaching, health and social care and uniformed services.

Choosing an apprenticeship can help kickstart a career in this sector and provide a great platform to support career development and advancement.

Chesterfield Borough Council employs more than 40 apprentices over a range of different service areas. The organisation was recently named in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers, which ranks the very best of England’s apprenticeship employers.

Apprenticeships support career advancement

Sally Grattage, Administration Officer at The Healthy Living Centre and Queen’s Park Sports Centre, is currently working towards a Level 3 Digital Marketer Apprenticeship with Ascento Training. She demonstrates how apprenticeships provide the opportunity to advance your career.

Sally has worked for Chesterfield Borough Council for the last 13 years, she said: “My day to day job involves dealing with memberships and payments, contract invoices and general enquiries to name a few. Over the past 18 months, I have also been responsible for the centre’s social media pages. Due to this, I was offered the opportunity to do a Level 3 Digital Marketer Apprenticeship. I knew by doing this apprenticeship it would open so many doors to learning new skills from things outside of my normal job role. So far this has included branding, marketing, and principles of web.

“I am learning so much, more than I ever could of thought, and I am getting more involved with other areas of the council including the Communication and Marketing department who have been a big help for me when working on my apprenticeship.”

Apprenticeships provide the skills to progress in a career  

Liz Hulbert shows how apprenticeships can help you progress in your career; she recently completed a Level 3 Team Leader apprenticeship and now has a permanent position as a Homelessness Officer at Chesterfield Borough Council.

She explained: “I love working in the public sector, every day brings its own challenges and rewards. I enjoy being in a front facing role and assisting residents in times of crisis in my role as a Homelessness Officer and offering support where I can. I feel Chesterfield Borough Council has given me a chance to progress and use my skills within a role that really suits me.”

Apprenticeships provide on the job training

Paul Davis, is an internal auditor at Chesterfield Borough Council, undertaking a Level 7 CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountants) Accountancy Professional apprenticeship.

He said: “I chose an apprenticeship as I was already an employee of the council and wanted to further my studies and progress in my career. I have not only gained the knowledge from attending face to face and online classes, but also gained work experience by stepping outside my comfort zone in my day to day role. I complete work using my new knowledge as I learn it, which in turn helps me understand my course material and gives me practical knowledge of the subject.”

He added: “Working in the public sector is challenging due to the financial restrictions and standards set. But is a very rewarding career as I get to work in many different areas that I would not get to work with as part of a private sector company such as leisure centres, crematoriums, social housing and benefits.”

Apprenticeships are open to everyone

Martin Hughes, a Customer Service Practitioner, used his apprenticeship to retrain for a new career and proves it is never too late to learn. He previously worked in the building and maintenance team for more than 30 years at Chesterfield Borough Council.

He said: “When I was first faced with the challenge of changing my career it was really difficult. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to adjust to working in an office environment. At my age, I was also concerned about going back to college to learn new skills, so being able to learn at work was perfect for me.

“I have never worked in an office before, so the apprenticeship was a good way to develop my skills. I have had a lot of help from my colleagues and my tutor.”

He added: “Every day is different to what I imagined, and I have adapted well to the change in career. Doing the apprenticeship has kept me in employment and given me a new focus.

“I hope my experience proves to others that they should have confidence in themselves and keep going because it is possible to achieve things you don’t imagine you can do.”

Overall, a career in public sector provides a diverse range of job roles that cater for every skill set and apprenticeships can help to provide a platform to progress within the sector.

You can find out more about this sector on the My Future careers platform.

Visit the Apprentice Town website for more information on apprenticeships. 

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Head into healthcare – a Career with Choice

Apprenticeships can be a great way to develop a career, especially in healthcare as they provide the chance to re-skill and the opportunity to earn whilst you learn. They also lead to nationally recognised qualifications and a foot in the door to your chosen career.

Develop a career 

In Chesterfield, Apprentice Providers have strong links with Chesterfield Royal Hospital, which makes developing a career in healthcare even easier.

The University of Derby work with Chesterfield Royal Hospital to offer apprenticeship training in Nursing.

Lauren Slinn, an Associate Practitioner (AP), used her apprenticeship as a steppingstone to become a registered nurse. “Studying and qualifying as an AP during the pandemic has been hard. It was difficult being redeployed to ITU whilst also writing and submitting assignments, but with the help of tutors at Derby University I have managed to complete it. Now I will be furthering my studies and have begun training to become a registered nurse, something that would not have been possible without the foundation degree apprenticeships.”

Charlotte Grayson, an Operating Department Practitioner apprentice at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, chose an apprenticeship as way of learning and earning on the job. “My apprenticeship is really the only way I could further myself at this point in my life, and my learning. Still being employed full time whilst working towards my degree is amazing. It’s been an amazing journey so far learning to scrub in and work alongside the anaesthetists and other mentors.”

Leanne Stevens, Operating Theatre Education Lead at Chesterfield Royal Hospital explains: “The ODP Degree Apprenticeship has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to be able to support and develop our current staff.

Our Bands 2 to 4 staff now have a career development pathway which enables them to both complete a degree funded through the apprenticeship levy and also to gain Band 5 Registered Professional status as an ODP which opens up many more career opportunities for the future.”

Re-skill

Apprenticeships can provide you the opportunity to re-train and secure employment in a completely different sector.

Sally Ann Thornburn, a Level 3 Adult Care Worker apprentice at One to One Support Services, is a great example of this. She previously worked at an insurance company for 30 years in a management role but wanted a new challenge and was keen to develop a career in care.

She said: “Caring for others is such a rewarding vocation; meeting new people and helping them live the lifestyle they want to lead is incredibly satisfying and since I have taken the apprenticeship the opportunities to improve people’s lives has only increased. It’s such a good course, it’s helped me recognise my specialist areas, it’s helped with the more administrative tasks I undertake each day and perhaps most importantly it’s helped me spot potential challenges my clients face quickly and enabled me to resolve them effectively.

I would recommend the Level 3 apprenticeship to anyone who is looking to progress their career in the care sector- it really does enhance your knowledge bank about the services that you are expected to provide your clients on a day to day basis.”

Diverse range of jobs 

In healthcare there are a diverse range of jobs to choose from with lots of apprenticeship pathways to support training in the numerous fields of work.

Annabelle Martin, is a business administration apprentice and junior PA at DHU Health Care completing a Level 4 apprenticeship with Learning Unlimited. She said: “I have been surprised by the variety of tasks that I do as part of my apprenticeship. I actually have a lot more responsibility than I was expecting and I work on some interesting projects.

After I finished my A Levels I was planning to go to university but I decided that it wasn’t the route for me. I didn’t know about university-level apprenticeships at the time but I am really happy that I have the opportunity to study this way and I am looking forward to developing my career with DHU.”

Careers that Care Week

Derbyshire Voluntary Action, The University of Derby and Joined Up Careers have joined forces to deliver Careers that Care Week, an event which aims to showcase careers in health and social care.

Careers that Care takes place from 21st – 25th June; access to videos, online events, and information about starting your future career in care will be available.  Featured careers include radiography, podiatry and disability support, so if you have ever wondered what these roles involve  (or if you have never heard of them and you are curious!) you can watch an interview and see a range of professionals doing their jobs. You can also sign up to Q&A sessions to ask your own questions about the featured careers.

The online hub will also have advice about how to get started in your chosen career – including information about going to university, apprenticeships, volunteering, and current schemes which are available to help you progress. More information and booking for the event can be found on the Careers that Care website.

Overall, if you are looking for a change in career then an apprenticeship in healthcare might be for you and there is more choice than you might first have thought.

More about this sector can be found on the My Future careers platform and further information on apprenticeships can be found on the Apprentice Town website.

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Chesterfield businesses urged to take advantage of government apprenticeship bonus scheme

Pinewood Property Estates Ltd and Chesterfield College are urging Derbyshire businesses to make the most of the government’s apprenticeship bonus scheme which launched earlier this month.

The scheme offers employers up to £4,000 for every apprentice recruited. It is designed to help businesses grow their team and provide opportunities for people to develop the skills they need to boost their careers.

Stacey Davies-Bowler, managing director at Pinewood Property Estates Ltd in Chesterfield, is a great advocate for apprenticeships. He is keen to highlight what benefits they bring, particularly with the availability of the apprenticeship incentive payment.

Stacey started his career as an apprentice and has helped many others to do the same.  As part of recent expansion plans, the business was keen to recruit a new apprentice along with other senior members of staff. They worked with Chesterfield College to explore the options open to them to find the perfect apprentice candidate. The apprenticeship bonus scheme was an added benefit for the organisation when they recruited Alberta, a Customer Service apprentice.

Stacey is keen to share his experiences as an employer of apprentices to encourage other small businesses to make the most of what the incentive scheme offers. He said:

“Without young people coming through, any industry gets stagnant. If companies are not giving young people a chance and supporting them to learn, they are going to find a huge void in their workforce and the skills they need. We have had great success with apprentices over the years and it is good to see young people develop in the organisation.

“In our business, an apprentice is not cheap labour. We have to invest a lot of time and effort into developing apprentices but we know we get a payback in the long term. We get someone who understands our business and our industry who then goes on to contribute to making a profit.

“The incentive scheme gives businesses who might be new to the apprenticeship process of developing their team a good opportunity to try it out. The bonus payment could potentially cover a third of an apprentice’s annual salary. For a small business this could offer a perfect way to give a young person a start to their career and develop an apprentice to become a valued member of their team.”

Leah Shortt, Apprentice Recruitment Manager at Chesterfield College said:

“We have been supporting local business like Pinewood Property Estates to grow their team through apprenticeships for many years. Now the new incentive scheme is available, we hope it will encourage more employers to explore how apprentices could benefit them.  We are here to help employers navigate their way through the apprenticeship landscape and access the incentive payments before the deadline. Our team of apprenticeship experts is on hand to help employers find the right apprenticeship programme, and the right candidate. Ultimately, this will support them to develop their future workforce and fill those critical skills gaps now and in the future.”

Find out more at https://www.chesterfield.ac.uk/apprenticeship-bonus-payment/ or call 0345 850 1055.

Pinewood Properties and Chesterfield College support the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in Business, Development, Featured, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

Full steam ahead for apprentices returning to the workplace

The past year has been challenging for apprentices, particularly those beginning their first training contract during the pandemic. But Chesterfield’s financial and legal businesses have adapted well to the ‘new normal’.

Liz Fisher, Associate Partner at Mitchells Chartered Accountants explains: “We were lucky at Mitchells in that our IT allowed us to work from home instantly without any additional set up required. We’ve had a skeleton staff within the office throughout the pandemic and the number of people in the office is gradually increasing.”

The financial and professional services sector is the largest business sector in Chesterfield; it has experienced a strong level of growth in the past five years, with the number of businesses increasing to more than 700. There are around 7,300 jobs in this sector locally including apprenticeships. More about this sector can be found on the My Future careers platform.

Working from home 

Working from home has its benefits and drawbacks. Many apprentices don’t mind working from home due to there being no commute, more flexibility, and less distractions.

Heather Ebbage, an apprentice Accounts Assistant at Innspired Accountancy explains: “The office was closed when I first started working for Innspired, this meant I was working from home. Being new to the industry, I found this difficult.”

“We returned back to the office in January with it being the busiest time of the year for accountants due to the Self-Assessment deadline. I feel that since being in the office, my development has increased tenfold, experiencing the office environment, listening to experienced colleagues dealing with clients queries and being able to discuss my queries with my managers face to face (socially distanced of course) have all meant that I am getting a better understanding of the industry and what my role will look like as I progress through my qualification.”

However, technology has made working from home much easier by enabling effective communication with colleagues and tutors. Abigail Denman, Level 3 Financial Services Administrator at Rosewood Wealth Management, says: “I have managed to stay in touch with my tutor through Google Meets and Zoom meetings. However, if I need to speak to my tutor in between the meetings I can always get in touch via email.”

Support from colleagues, employers, and providers 

Support from colleagues, employers and providers during the pandemic has meant apprentices could continue developing during their apprenticeships.

Jess Bradfield completed her Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship at BRM Solicitors during the recent lockdown and has now taken the role of Paralegal in the company’s Wills and Probate team. She explains: “The training I received was different from how it is usually done, however I have still progressed as expected. My apprenticeship allowed me to develop numerous different skills, as well as a general knowledge about the legal sector. I felt more comfortable moving into my new role as a result of this.”

Lorna Finlay, Level 7 Accountancy and Taxation apprentice at Chesterfield College, found she has been able to develop her confidence whilst completing her apprenticeship during the pandemic. She says: “I like the fact that I am encouraged to develop my knowledge, skills and behaviours. The tracker I need to complete to pass my apprenticeship allows me to reflect on my personal development and identify areas for improvement. I believe this has boosted my confidence greatly.”

Returning to the office 

Whilst apprenticeships have been able to continue during the pandemic, many apprentices are looking forward to returning to the office and seeing colleagues in person.

Jenny Beagan, Senior Processing Customer Services Advocate was recently awarded Apprentice of the Year by provider Workpays. She says: “During the pandemic I have been lucky enough to be able to come into work as a lot of my role consists of writing out to customers or printing requests from customers. I have liked having the routine of coming to work, however we must follow strict guidelines in our day to day working.”

I am looking forward to colleagues returning back to the office and getting back to the new normal way of working, it will be great to see colleagues again who we haven’t seen for over a year.”

Following on from what the apprentices said, it is likely that the hybrid working model will continue and be a mix between home and office working.

If you would like to start a career in this sector, check out the current apprenticeship vacancies in the local area.

Posted in Apprentice Town, Blog, Made in ChesterfieldTagged in , , ,

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