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Success of Council's Trainee and Apprentice Scheme

10th June 2009

Photograph of Success of Council's Trainee and Apprentice Scheme

The number of trainees and apprentices employed by The Highland Council is already exceeding the target of 200 set by the Administration for March 2011.

Members of the Council's Resources Committee were told on Wednesday that 203 trainees and apprentices are now on the Council's books and this number is expected to rise to 231 by the end of next year.

At present, the Council's employs 47 full time and 2 summer trainees, 28 apprentices, 18 graduate trainees and 108 probationer teachers and work will continue to develop more opportunities for young people.

In total, the Council employs 824 staff under the age of 25.

Councillor Carolyn Wilson, Chairman of the Resources Committee, said: "We are committed to nurturing young people and helping them to develop the skills necessary to build successful careers. Our scheme is very much geared towards finding home-grown talent and turning learning opportunities into permanently jobs. To do this we have established a career progression plan that takes our trainees and apprentices from a training post right through to become fully competent role.

"There are skill shortages in some of our services such as Planning, Social Work and property management and construction. By increasing opportunities for young people we hope to be able to address these shortages and at the same time offer young people the chance to benefit from on the job training so they can develop successful full time careers. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in administering the scheme and wish all our trainees and apprentices a very prosperous future."

One young apprentice is Michael Ewan, a plumber based within the Council's Housing and Property Service in Alness. Michael, who finishes his 4 year apprentice in July, said: "I really have enjoyed learning new skills and there is lots of variety in the work I do. I have had plenty of support and encouragement over the last 4 years and I have been told I will be getting a full time job with the Council once my apprenticeship is finished."

Another trainee currently working for the Council is Graduate Planner Lynn Bell. Lynn graduated from Aberdeen University last June and is part of the planning team working on the Inverness City Vision project. Over the next two years the experience she'll gain will enable her to become a chartered planner and a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. Lynn said: "I have received great support and I'm gaining lots of experience by working on some big projects. As well as being part of the City Vision team I am also supporting the local plan teams in getting two local plans to the Scottish Government for Examination. In addition I am part of the Delivering Pre-Application Advice team dealing with Major Developments and I am also working on the new Highland-wide Local Development Plan. There are lots of aspects to the job I am doing so I record the development of my skills in a log-book which is taken into account when after my two years I apply to become a fully qualified chartered planner."

The Council is keen to recognise the hard work and commitment of trainees and apprentices and has introduced an award as part of its annual Quality Awards event. Last year's winner was Sutherland-based apprentice joiner, Duncan Winston.

Photo
Carolyn Wilson - chairman of Resources Committee of Highland Council with trainee planner Lynn Bell

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