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Flintshire Apprentice Academy takes shape

Published: 23/02/2016

Flintshire County Council is working with Future Works to develop an “Apprentice Academy” for the County. In October last year, the creation of an academy was approved by Council. The academy will maximise the creation of skilled local jobs, which will be needed for the Council’s major housing construction and refurbishment programmes over the next five years. Council construction contracts always place a requirement on the contractor to provide apprentice opportunities and to recruit local labour, however it is often difficult to complete the apprenticeships owing to the nature of the contracts. The creation of this academy will ensure that full apprenticeships can be made and delivered. Cllr Derek Butler, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said, “The Council plans to spend around £150m on housing construction over the next 5 years and this creates the opportunity for some 50 apprenticeships to level 2, with some of these achieving level 3 and beyond. The type of job roles needed include plumbing, joinery, plastering, gas and electrical, bricklayers, but also other roles such as tenant liaison officers and quantity surveyors will be required. “We also want to see a good programme in place to offer new and additional work placement opportunities for those furthest away from the work place such as those not in employment, education or training (NEET) and those with learning disability or mental health challenges.” Future Works is a community interest company which has the relevant experience, the right culture and values to be a close partner to the Council and working with a third party reduces significantly the cost of scheme administration for the Council. They have committed to having a Flintshire base and the scheme manager/placement officer will be employed by the Council but seconded to work on the Future Works Flintshire programme. Adverts have been placed for the first cohort of apprentices and local people to work on the contracts. There has been a good level of interest and the first group are due to start with Wates and their subcontractors at the end of February. In addition, the Council is holding an Apprentice Fair on 16 March as part of National Apprentice week. Flintshire Secondary schools have committed to send young people to the event and Flintshire would like local employers to take a stand at the event. Key note speakers including apprentices have been arranged and businesses will take stands to promote their own schemes and employment opportunities alongside opportunities to “Try a Trade” and get advice on CV writing. For more details about the Apprentice Fair, please contact Kate Catherall, Business Advisor with Flintshire County Council, on 01352 703221 or email kate.catherall@flintshire.gov.uk.


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