Hats off to Council modern apprentices

The number of modern apprentices working in City of Edinburgh Council care homes has doubled in the last couple of years and a further 21 will be recruited shortly.

Modern aprentices graduating
Sue Bruce and Cllr Frank Ross (centre) with four of the modern aprentices graduating

They are among 39 apprentices graduating this afternoon at the National Museum of Scotland as part of Modern Apprentice Week. Other graduates include six young people working with people with disabilities and many more young people making a positive contribution in other workplaces such as business administration, joinery, sports development, horticulture and tree surgery.

There are 79 apprentices in the Council still working towards the completion of their Modern Apprenticeship and the Council will be recruiting at least another 50 apprentices in coming year.

More than one in every hundred full-time equivalent employees in the Council is now an apprentice and since the Edinburgh Guarantee launched two and a half years ago it has supported over 1,000 young people into employment training or further education. The Edinburgh Guarantee has also helped 200 employers in the last financial year give young people new opportunities.

Cllr Frank Ross, Economy Convener, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone graduating today and it is great to see that we are helping so many young people make a positive step in this very important stage of their lives. As well as benefitting the young people directly, the apprentices are making a direct and valued contribution to our workplaces. Tackling youth unemployment in this way is also good news for the city’s economy.

ue Bruce, Chief Executive, the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by these talented young people. The council is making a very real contribution to this success. The Edinburgh Guarantee has been a huge success throughout the city. We have 200 business partners and with other employers in Edinburgh we have created almost 1000 opportunities since the Edinburgh Guarantee began in 2011. Businesses in Edinburgh recruited over 300 young people through the programme in the last year.”

Case study of apprentice graduating

Eirrinne D’Orofrio works with people with disabilities at South Gyle Respite Unit. She has been described as ‘a breath of fresh air’.

Eirrinne was struggling to get motivated during her 5th year at School, despite being capable of achieving ‘good’ grades, and wasn’t enjoying her Saturday job. While at school she looked at the various Apprenticeship opportunities available within The City of Edinburgh Council. With a small amount of experience supporting people with disabilities she decided to apply for an Apprenticeship within Disability Services as a Care Assistant. The thought of being able to help people appealed to her.

Now, graduating as a
Care Assistant, she is so glad she accepted the job and feels so lucky to have been given this opportunity. ‘It’s good to work towards a qualification while working and I now know it is something I want to do’.

During the first few weeks Eirrine was apprehensive and had some self doubt about whether she could succeed struggling with certain aspects of the job. However she was determined to make it work and with her positive attitude and the support she has been given she is now performing well within the Job.

Despite the early starts (and the effect it has on her social life) she looks forward to going to work and finds it easier to ‘get out of her bed’ for the job than it was for school.

The Manager at South Gyle Restbite unit describes Eirrinne as a ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ and ‘Inspiring’. She has brought many new ideas, and relates extremely well to the Service Users. Not only is Eirinne learning from the present staff but they are learning from her and this is influencing the way they work.

Further information

· The Edinburgh Guarantee is a vision that all sectors of the city will work together to ensure that every school leaver in Edinburgh will leave school with the choice of a job, training or further education opportunity available to them.

· Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2014 focuses on the benefits apprenticeships bring to businesses, individuals and the Scottish economy.

· Events and activities involving employers, apprentices, colleges, local authorities and training providers are taking place across the country to celebrate the success of apprenticeships.

· Skills Development Scotland organises Scottish Apprenticeship Week to encourage many more employers to take on apprentices.

· Scotland has ambitious targets for 25,000 new Modern Apprenticeship places each year.

· Modern Apprenticeships cover around 80 different areas of employment and are open to anyone over the age of 16.

· Modern Apprentices are employed across Scotland in a wide range of jobs in sectors including engineering, construction, health and social care, ICT, tourism and food and drink.

· All departments of the Council now have apprentices. These are in the following areas: Social Care (Elderly Care); Social Care (Disability); HGV Mechanics; Business Administration; Childcare; Arborist (forestry); Roadworkers; Joinery; Electrical Engineering; Gas Engineering; Plumbing; Horticultural Engineering; Amenity Horticulture; Youth Work; Creative Industries; Sports Development; Outdoor Learning; Customer Services (Revenues and Benefits); Customer Service (ICT); and Cooking (Hospitality)

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