On-the-job training for Council’s new apprentices
Two young people have gained the chance to get on-the-job training and qualifications while earning a salary after securing apprenticeship posts at West Oxfordshire District Council.
Daniel Oliver, 18, and Chelsie Johnson, 16, (pictured) will train as Revenues and Benefits Service apprentices over the next two years.
They took up their posts last week and will be working in a busy environment helping to deal with claims for Housing and Council Tax Benefits, while working to gain a vocational qualification in Revenues and Benefits equivalent to Level-3 NVQ, or two A-Levels.
The Council is running the apprenticeship scheme following a successful pilot scheme launched in 2009, which saw the employment of three apprentices, and believes it is a good way of providing employment and training opportunities for young people to help them on the path to a long-term career.
Last week, figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed that unemployment rates among young people in Britain were at their highest since records began in 1992, with the number of 16 to 24-year-olds without jobs at just under one million, or 21.3%.
Chelsie started job hunting after completing her GCSEs at Bartholomew School, Eynsham, in the summer. She has an interest in information communications technology and had been applying for administrative jobs before seeing the apprenticeship vacancy.
Chelsie, who lives in Eynsham, said: “When I saw this advertised, I thought it looked good because it included admin. I knew I wanted to leave school and get a job and I’m really pleased because it will also give me the chance to gain a qualification.”
Daniel, who lives in Botley, Oxford, finished his A-Levels at Matthew Arnold School, Oxford, in the summer. Keen to work instead of studying at higher education level and put off from going to university by tuition fees, he had applied for other jobs when he saw the apprenticeship advertised online.
He said: “I was working part-time in a shop, but wanted a full-time job after finishing my A-Levels. I saw this and thought it was a good opportunity because I could carry on learning while working and earning some money. University didn’t appeal to me and I didn’t like the thought of getting into debt. I’m hoping this will be a stepping stone and help me to gain some good experience towards my career in the future.”
Cllr Simon Hoare, Cabinet Member for Resources at the Council, said: “Apprenticeship schemes offer a real alternative to university or college and can help people onto a promising career path. We were very keen to extend the apprenticeship scheme at a time when it is difficult for some to get a job or pay university fees, and we will hopefully be able to carry this on in the future.
“We received a good set of applications and Daniel and Chelsie have done very well to secure their apprenticeships. We would like to wish them well for the next two years.”
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