As part of the authority’s ambitions to help residents achieve their true potential, Mansfield District Council continues utilising and investing in the future workforce.
To achieve this, the authority creates and develops access to further education and learning within the workplace, with support from external partners.
Marking the launch of the National Apprenticeship Week yearly campaign today (5 February), three of the council employees, Emily Mclauchlan, Anthony Houghton, and Joshua Peck, have all passed their End Performance Assessments—the final hurdle for their apprenticeships—with flying colours.
Covering subjects from digital marketing to GIS systems and HGV maintenance – the three officers had the chance to develop and build on their existing knowledge and apply it in real-time during their working days.
Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams said: “Mansfield District Council is a learning organisation where our people are our most valuable asset.
"Through schemes such as apprenticeships, we can develop and retain talented employees, utilise new skills, and provide quality career paths.
"Recruitment is expensive, so it makes a lot of economic sense to train existing staff to levels a business requires. It keeps local people in jobs and attracts talent to the area, too. We want this to be an area where people can achieve and go into good, well-paid jobs."
Emily, a digital trainee apprentice at Mansfield District Council for more than five years, started with a business admin level two qualification, then moved on to digital marketing level three, and now has completed her level six digital marketing qualification.
She said: “Completing a degree-level apprenticeship that was integrated with my full-time job was incredibly challenging, but the council were super supportive and gave me the time needed for off the job training and to attend university.
“It was helpful that some people in my team had completed the same course, so I was able to look to them for support too. Although it was difficult, I loved learning about different modules and more complex things that are involved in digital marketing. It's an ever-changing environment, so it's important to stay up to date on trends.
“I think most people assume that apprenticeships are just for school leavers, but they're not. You can complete an apprenticeship at any age, and they're beneficial because you get work experience combined with education, which gives you an advantage.”
Since 2012, the council has recruited 75 apprentices with 101 apprenticeship programmes delivered; 26 employees have completed an apprenticeship at levels ranging from level two to seven as part of their personal development, with a 100 percent pass rate achieved for all apprentices undertaking End Point Assessments.
Josh Peck joined the authority in a customer service-based role in 2015 at just 17 years old. Upon starting with the council, he was made aware of apprenticeship opportunities and immediately began studying his level two in customer service.
From there, he was able to move around different departments to gain further experience in education, completing level three and level four in Business Administration within the HR team.
Fast forward to 2023, and Josh has now completed his level five/six degree qualification in Digital and Technology Solutions, specialising in data analytics.
He said: “At school, I always really enjoyed math and statistics, which link in quite well with data analytics, so I thought my next step would be to go for that. With how the world is going, it’s quite a desirable job.
“The balance has been good to handle. Moving through the levels has helped prepare me for the next stage of my apprenticeship; it was a seamless transition that guided me through. I wasn’t jumping straight into the deep end, doing long essays and citations; it was a natural progression in difficulty.
“If I could sum up the three things I have learned in this process, it would be more confidence, desire to learn has increased – I have been learning up to the age of 25, and I don’t want to break that now that I’ve finished – and finally patience.
“If I didn’t say yes to every opportunity that came my way, I would not be here now. So, I would always recommend to anyone to say yes, it gets you out of your comfort zone, and you gain patience as your career grows.”
Anthony Houghton joined the authority at 16 years old in September 2018 as an HGV mechanic and enrolled in a level three apprenticeship.
He said: “It was always a career path I wanted to go into as my mum and dad have a haulage business, so I’ve always worked in or around lorries.
“I have improved my communication skills; when I joined here, I was fresh out of school, and you mingled with colleagues. It boosts your confidence both at work and outside of work.
“It emphasises what reality is like in the working world, like an awakening that to do well in life, you need to have your qualifications, get up, and work hard to earn money. This has helped me prepare for that.
“My contract has now been converted to permanent, and I am so pleased as I love what I do.”
Mansfield District Council has various further educational and professional development opportunities available to all employees through various schemes, including its Career Ambassador Programme, apprenticeships, digital skill classes, and much more.