Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council.

Young people to be given apprenticeship chance at Norwich City Council

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
7.32 PM

Young people are to be given the chance to take up apprenticeships with Norwich City Council, after City Hall leaders agreed to create new opportunities.

Council leaders agreed tonight to set the ball rolling on the creation of the apprenticeships, which could be offered in various council departments.

The apprentices would earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain skills and nationally recognised qualifications.

While councillors said they could not, at this stage, say how many apprenticeships could be created, officers have identified that some vacant posts at the authority could be turned into apprenticeship posts.

Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “This is another shining example of this organisation showing civic leadership. I think this is a really positive move which will benefit the apprentices, but also the organisation as a whole.”

The council’s controlling Labour cabinet heard how just 3.2pc of the authority’s workers are aged 25 or under, yet a quarter of Norwich’s working age population is aged from 16 to 24.

A report by officers, which came before the councillors, stated: “As a consequence the organisation’s ability to recruit employees who can be developed to meet the council’s current and future talent needs is more limited.”

The apprentices will be paid the “appropriate rate for the job”, which council leader Ms Arthur said would be higher than the government’s national minimum wage for apprentices, which is currently £2.60 an hour.

The council could get funding from the National Apprenticeship Service to wholly or partially cover the apprenticeship training costs.

Earlier this year, Norfolk County Council launched its own Apprenticeship’s Norfolk campaign, which aims to create up to 400 apprenticeship jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds over the next two years.

As well as urging businesses to take on young people, the county council has taken on a number of apprentices itself.

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