Hertfordshire County Council marked the start of National Apprenticeships Week by introducing some of the apprentices working with the council’s Health and Community Services to MP Stephen McPartland who visited HCC’s Farnham House offices in Stevenage.
Stephen said: “I visited Hertfordshire County Council to learn about their long experience of employing apprentices and I was very impressed with the apprentices I met and the council’s commitment. It’s clear that apprentices are bedded into their teams and well supported. We have over 800 apprentices in Stevenage - it’s doubled in the last couple of years - and I’m trying to ensure our young people know there is another option to university, everything from apprentice rocket scientists to apprentice social care staff, that lead to great careers locally."
Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Cabinet member for Health & Adult Care, said: “Since our adult social care apprenticeship scheme was launched in 2005 we’ve had 65 apprentices and 64 of them are still working in social care - many for the county council and others for providers around the county. The workforce is getting older and we want to future-proof our social care service and encourage people to consider social care as a career.”
The apprenticeship lasts for one year, with training provided by the Goldsmith Centre at HCC's Stevenage site, and includes studying for a Level 2 qualification credit framework diploma in social care.
Stephen McPartland also learned about HCC's Level 5 Higher Apprenticeships Programme. “We are one of the first employers in Hertfordshire to introduce the Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship in care leadership and management for a broad spectrum of staff from services for older and physically disabled people, people with learning disabilities and supported living, explained Denise McMurray, head of HCS workforce development. “Unlike a traditional apprenticeship this programme is not restricted to an age group or employee category and it’s aimed at future-proofing our workforce to develop Hertfordshire leaders and managers of the future.”