Apprenticeships provide opportunities for all

Apprenticeships Norfolk is placing more and more people into roles within organisations which have a focus on diversity and inclusion.

Published in Norfolk Director Magazine Autumn|Winter 2022

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Apprenticeships: Insight Apprentice Project

Its Insight Apprentice project, part-funded by the European Social Fund, Norfolk County Council, and delivery partners, aim to increase the number of small and medium businesses who are engaged with apprenticeships in Norfolk.

The latest organisations to take up this support include Girlguiding Anglia, and Able2B, a community interest company which helps children and adults with disabilities to improve their day-to-day function through adapted exercise. The project is supporting the creation of several new apprenticeships with these employers, in a range of roles from retail, catering and activity instruction, to property maintenance, physiotherapy, and business administration.

“As the business expands, we now need to take on more staff,” said Rachael Hutchinson, Orthopaedic Surgeon, and co-founder of Able2B. “Taking on apprentices fits well with our ethos of opening up more opportunities to individuals.”

Amanda Bayfield, Executive Manager of Girlguiding Anglia agreed, adding “We have always tried to take on apprentices, as a volunteer led, youth-based charity. If we can offer opportunities for young people to learn skills and develop in the workforce, then this meets our charitable aims and aligns with our mission – we try to ‘grow our own’. Apprentices bring a new perspective to the staffing team with young and fresh ideas.”

Girlguiding Anglia has recruited the first of many apprentices, with Able2B looking forward to appointing their first ones later this month, with training being provided by Poultec and Creative Sport and Leisure respectively.

Apprenticeships support and promote inclusion

An apprenticeship is a great way for individuals and organisations to support and promote inclusion, according to Simon Kenny, Insight Apprentice Project Manager at Norfolk County Council. “Apprenticeships are available to anyone over school leaving age and provide an excellent employment and training opportunity for people from all backgrounds, whether it’s starting a first job, progressing to a new role in the workplace, or those looking to change career.

“The Insight Apprentice project is working with a number of employers and referral partners, to tackle barriers to learning and improve access to apprenticeships for all, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with additional needs.”

The project is currently working with 27 businesses to bring learners on board. The opportunities that are created not only benefit the organisations but have a real impact on the apprentices too.

The difference made to the individuals who are successful in their applications is clear: “The apprenticeship has given me greater confidence in my abilities,” says Karen Payne, who undertook a Level 3 Team Leader apprenticeship with Searles Leisure Resorts, another employer supported by the project. “I was offered the chance to complete my apprenticeship as a team leader here at the resort – enabling me to upskill my knowledge, skills and behaviours – which helped my career progression”.

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Simon Kenny is Insight Apprentice Project Manager at Norfolk County Council. Those interested in developing an apprenticeship programme within the workplace should contact the Insight Apprentice team on:

T: 0344 800 8024
E: insightapprentice@norfolk.gov.uk
Or visit www.apprenticeshipsnorfolk.org/Insight-apprentice

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