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Accolade For South Tyneside Apprentice Scheme

South Tyneside Council's Advanced Modern Apprenticeship Scheme has reached the final of a prestigious new Awards programme that recognises recruiting, supporting and developing young people.

Organised jointly by the Learning and Skills Council and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (NE branch), the Young People Mean Business Awards highlight the excellent work of local organisations who employ and train young people to become competent, skilled and qualified workers.

On Monday (23rd June) officers and apprentices from South Tyneside Council will be attending the ceremony at the Gosforth Marriott Hotel joining other organisations from Northumberland and Tyne and Wear who have also been short-listed for the awards.

The Council has entered its Advanced Modern Apprenticeship scheme in the 'Development Of Young People' in a large company category. The judges have visited the Neighbourhood Services Directorate to learn more about its training and development strategy and to hear from the young people themselves about how they view the scheme.

There are currently 67 apprentices aged 16 - 18 recruited annually for a variety of trades such as plasterers, plumbers, bricklayers, joiners, painters, electricians, paviours and mechanics. They work four days a week, where they gain on the job experience by working alongside qualified tradesmen who also act as work-based recorders. On the fifth day they attend local colleges on day release for the theory side of the NVQ.

For the past three years the apprentices have had 100% pass rate for the NVQ3 and have gone on to work for the Council. Many who do well go on to study for further qualifications such as HNCs or degrees. Individual achievements are also recognised at the Council's own high profile annual awards ceremony.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Waggott says: "The Council recognises its duty to provide these opportunities because the future of South Tyneside depends on the success, achievement and determination of our young people. The Council provides a range of services to help meet the needs and demands of people who live, work and visit South Tyneside. Our priority areas include Education, Social Care & Health, Employment & Enterprise, Community Safety and Environment. We are working hard to achieve these and our vision of 'A Better Future For South Tyneside's People.' Being short-listed for this coveted Award is yet another step on the path to excellence."

Councillor Peter Boyack, the Lead Member for Neighbourhood Services adds: "I am delighted that our scheme has reached the final of this highly sought after independent award scheme. The apprentices are involved in the much-acclaimed new build bungalows scheme that is a great development experience for them. They benefit from a real wage whilst at the same time studying for a qualification to become competent, skilled and qualified members of the workforce."

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in the Gosforth Marriott Hotel on Monday night. Each category will have two awards - one for the best SME and one for the best large organisation. Each award will have a winner and two runners up. From the winners one SME and one large organisation will be selected and recognised as the two companies that have been the most proactive in encouraging young people within their business. Each will receive a specially engraved glass sculpture and a cheque for £500 for learning materials or support in the workforce.


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