Career-minded young people in Middlesbrough have praised an apprenticeship scheme which has allowed them to go ahead on their chosen path.
Middlesbrough Council's Community Learning Service has seen its first cohort achieve the new Apprenticeship Standards designed to meet the needs of employers and comprise the skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need to prove they can carry out all aspects of their job role.
The group have been praised by Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston who offered "massive congratulations" to all.
As well as producing a showcase portfolio of their work and managing a work-based project, the successful apprentices underwent a rigorous ‘End Point Assessment' which involved delivering a presentation, passing a competence based interview and in some cases being observed carrying out their job role by an examiner.
The apprentices passed their assessments with flying colours, all achieving Distinction Grades in many of their assignments and the majority achieved Distinctions right across the board.
The occupations the apprentices have been successful in so far are Customer Service Practitioner, Business Administrator and Public Service Operational Delivery Officer.
All the successful apprentices have secured full-time employment as a result of their apprenticeship, many within the Council and some with local and national public and private sector organisations.
Eliza Hilton, who has achieved a Distinction Grade for the Operational Delivery Officer standard, said: "After realising the traditional college route wasn't for me, I opted to apply for Middlesbrough Council's apprenticeship programme.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as an apprentice and have gained invaluable industry experience and knowledge, which has enabled me to progress into full time employment very quickly."
Beth Taylor, who achieved the Customer Service Practitioner Standard, also with a Distinction Grade, said: "I have really enjoyed being a part of the MCLS Apprenticeship Programme. It has given me the opportunity to learn valuable life skills and gain practical experience within the sector I am most interested in."
Rachel McGravey was proud to get a Distinction in Level 3 Business Administrator Standard. She said: "Choosing to go down the apprenticeship route as a school leaver was the best choice I could have made.
"Not only have I earned my own wage whilst learning and gaining a qualification but my course has given me a lot of experience in a working environment, and independence in life. I now feel like I am on the right path to develop my career in a business role."
Middlesbrough Community Learning Service offers apprenticeships from Level 2 right up to degree level in occupations such as Leadership and Management, Teaching and Learning Assistants, Events Manager, Building Control Officer, Local Environmental Services, Health and Safety Officer, Human Resources Assistant and many more.
Mayor Preston added: "Gaining skills is one of the first steps to a really exciting and rewarding career and I'm sure the fantastic people I met are going to have a really fulfilling working life so a massive congratulations and good luck to everyone."
To register an interest in applying for an apprenticeship with Middlesbrough Council or to engage an apprentice in your company, please email Carole Thorpe, Apprenticeships Co-Ordinator, on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01642 811400 and ask to speak to a member of the Apprenticeship team.
Pictured: (L-R) Demi-Leigh Thompson, Namrah Zabeir, Eliza Hilton, Rachel McGravey, Beth Taylor, Mayor Andy Preston, Ruth Hill (Tutor), Arooj Amjad, Stephen Allan, Maria Ferguson (Tutor), Lewis Johns.