Council taken to task for not employing enough apprentices

Apprentices: just 23 of them employed by the county council

Apprentices: just 23 of them employed by the county council

First published in News Malvern Gazette: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

JUST 23 apprentices are employed at Worcestershire County Council - leading to claims the authority is not doing enough for young people.

The county's Liberal Democrat group has severely criticised the tally, saying the council is being hypocritical and "failing to get its own house in order".

For several years the council has lobbied hard to encourage private employers to take on more apprentices, and only last month a report was produced saying schools must do more to boost the interest among teens.

But just 23 apprentices are working for the authority out of a 3,500 strong workforce, and just three of those positions are at the main County Hall HQ.

Councillor Liz Tucker, leader of the county's Liberal Democrat group, said: "I am strongly supportive of apprenticeships but I'm concerned the council talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk.

"When I checked there were only three apprentices working at County Hall (and 23 in total).

"We cannot go preaching to others on this issue unless we sort ourselves out first."

Her criticism has been accepted by the council, which says it will work hard to boost the figure.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and the cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: "That's a very good point - we need to make sure we're doing as much as we can internally as well.

"It's something I've already raised with the chief executive because I believe it's an issue we need to raise our game on.

"It's a point well made."

Of the 23 apprentices, 19 are in schools based jobs and four work in various other departments.

A spokesman for the council said: "We recognise these numbers are low but this is something that we will be looking to improve over the coming months as part of the council's 'Investing in the Future' initiative."

A report last month, produced by Councillor Ken Pollock urged the council to encourage schools to put apprenticeships at the heart of career advice.

Between 2011 and last year the number of apprenticeships has rocketed across the county, topping 6,000.

It followed your Worcester News 100 in 100 campaign, which called upon 100 companies to take on 100 eager apprentices and help boost young people’s lives.

It smashed all predictions, with 214 people finding work with 145 different employers.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:54pm Fri 18 Jul 14

Techo y desayuno 10 euros says...

While not wanting to be in anyway controversial. Apprentices and the questions not enough being employed. When employers took on many apprentices they got criticise for using cheap and unskilled labour. As then has it is now the Liberals claiming employers where using cheap labour.
With the only difference now, being it is the Liberal Democrats doing the mouthing.

It would be fantastic if we employed more apprentices both in the public and in private sectors.
Here we have Liberals calling the odds when at National Level they are sleeping with those who want to cut public expenditure. Surely, they are not suggesting the Council employs more apprentices so that the wage bill will drop and men that are more skilled can be made redundant.
While not wanting to be in anyway controversial. Apprentices and the questions not enough being employed. When employers took on many apprentices they got criticise for using cheap and unskilled labour. As then has it is now the Liberals claiming employers where using cheap labour. With the only difference now, being it is the Liberal Democrats doing the mouthing. It would be fantastic if we employed more apprentices both in the public and in private sectors. Here we have Liberals calling the odds when at National Level they are sleeping with those who want to cut public expenditure. Surely, they are not suggesting the Council employs more apprentices so that the wage bill will drop and men that are more skilled can be made redundant. Techo y desayuno 10 euros
  • Score: 1

12:42pm Sat 19 Jul 14

,weekp3i47545ruioip[4orp[orp[]23r[]23pr[]ep3oerp[] says...

Just give them mangers jobs on the bins i am sure they would do a better job
Just give them mangers jobs on the bins i am sure they would do a better job ,weekp3i47545ruioip[4orp[orp[]23r[]23pr[]ep3oerp[]
  • Score: 2

7:20am Tue 22 Jul 14

WorcsBornandBred says...

I come from a private sector background, and I am surprised to hear this. Particularly given that one of our own contracts awarded to us had a caveat of at least 6 apprentices!

One rule for them, another for the struggling private sector.
I come from a private sector background, and I am surprised to hear this. Particularly given that one of our own contracts awarded to us had a caveat of at least 6 apprentices! One rule for them, another for the struggling private sector. WorcsBornandBred
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree