Scheme aims to address current skills shortage

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A SOUTH West college is working with councils to create an exclusive apprenticeship scheme for those hoping forge a career in local authorities. Created with Bristol City Council, Bath & North East Somerset Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council, the Weston College West of England Civil/Highways Apprenticeship Programme will start in September. The collaborative scheme aims to address the current skills shortage while also finding future employees and growing talent within the unitary authorities.

Liz Redwood, executive director of apprenticeships and commercial strategy, said: “This is an innovative and collaborative approach by the authorities, helping them to address issues around staff recruitment and retention. “The authorities recognise that the pipeline of major developments coming forward across the West of England and South West, along with the potential impact of the new Hinkley Point C (HPC) development, could exacerbate these issues.”

The bespoke West of England Civil/Highways Apprenticeship Programme has been designed to meet the requirements of the four authorities and will be offered to 13 young people. Each apprentice will spend most of their time at one of the four councils, but the course will also include opportunities to visit other sites. Successful applicants will attend Weston College’s new Future Technology Centre at the South West Skills Campus one day a week to gain a Level 3 Civil Engineering and Technical Support qualification.

Dr Paul Phillips, principal and chief executive, said: “Weston College is delighted to be working in partnership with the West of England unitary authorities, helping them to deliver a bespoke, pro-active and innovative approach to planning for their future skills requirements.”

For more information about the West of England Civil/Highways Apprenticeship Program visit the college website.

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