Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Poll: Award-winning council scheme sees apprentices paid £5,000 a year

07:30 08 January 2014

West Suffolk House in Bury

West Suffolk House in Bury

Archant

A borough council has praised award-winning apprenticeship schemes where staff working full-time hours are paid just £5,000 a year.

shares

St Edmundsbury Borough Council employs apprentices across its workforce on training contracts, who work full-time hours but are allowed to be paid as little as £2.68 per hour under government guidelines introduced in 2010.

The national minimum wage for under 18s is £3.72, while it is £6.31 for those aged 21 and over.

The St Edmundsbury scheme, which it operates alongside Forest Heath as the West Suffolk Apprenticeship scheme, was developed alongside Unison and won the Sarah Swane Workforce Development & Equality Award 2012.

A spokeswoman from St Edmundsbury said: “The benefits of being an apprentice for the employee are to ‘earn and learn’, gain valuable work experience, increase practical skills and find out about career paths available.

“Perhaps the most important benefit is gaining confidence, maturity and a sense of where you fit in the world, which are invaluable at the start of any career.”

Since 2010, 21 people have been employed under the government minimum apprenticeship wage by the West Suffolk Apprenticeship Scheme, with 10 now employed in permanent positions.

A spokeswoman from the Skills Funding Agency said: “The rate is set to be consistent with current arrangements in parts of the UK.

“The Low Pay Commission has recommended that is fair to apprentices and does not discourage employers from offering apprenticeships. The rate is a minimum, employers can pay more - and many do.”

The vast majority of West Suffolk apprentices are under 25 years old. They are employed on either 18-month or two-year contracts, and some attend college once a week.

Current apprentices work in a variety of roles, from finance and human resources through to mechanics and landscape gardening.

The spokeswoman from St Edmundsbury added: “Taking on someone as an apprentice gives us the chance to ‘grow our own’ by investing in young people through training to build the workforce for the future. Having young people within an organisation brings fresh ideas.

“There is no guarantee that an apprentice will be offered a full-time position within the organisation, but apprentices have access to internal vacancies so if opportunities arise they can take them up.

“Historically, St Edmundsbury has a good record of young people moving from an apprenticeship into full-time work, either with the council or other local employers.”

The £2.68-per-hour rate can only be paid to apprentices under 19 or those in their first year.

A report by the Sutton Trust published in October found an average of 11 people chasing every apprentice position.

shares

1 comment

  • This absolutely infuriates me - it is nothing more than a way for this despicable government to massage unemployment figures.

    Report this comment

    Ex-IP17

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lord Deben John Gummer, Christine Block, from Deben Estuary Partnership, Karen Thomas, from Water Management Alliance, Graham Henderson, from DEP, Simon Amstutz, from AONB, Therese Coffey MP, David Kemp from the Environment Agency, and Suffolk Coastal District Councillor Andy Smith gathered to launch the Deben Estuary Plan.

Three years of work have created a new community-led blueprint to protect and manage one of Suffolk’s treasures, the River Deben estuary

Detectives investigating a burglary at a home in Colchester have issued an efit of a man they would like to identify in connection with the incident.

Age UK is looking for volunteers to take part in a video

Bosses at Age UK Suffolk are looking for 10 older people to take part in a new promotional video that is being made to show off the work of the charity.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Rail delays at Colchester have been caused by a broken down train.

Rendlesham Care Centre rated ‘good’ by CQC (L-R) Danielle Brown, Administrator; Liz Slight, Home Manager; Maxine Crisp, Carer; Fabian Lossa, Carer; Rachael Last, Receptionist

Rendlesham Care Centre was found to provide a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led service according to the CQC report.

A diversion has been put in place

Severe traffic delays in Chelmsford have been caused by a traffic collision.

Woodbridge Carnival fireworks 2015.

People in an east Suffolk town are being asked to vote with their cash if they want a fireworks display next year.

Station Hill in Bury St Edmunds, which is being redeveloped.

Plans for more than 100 flats near the train station in Bury St Edmunds - an area of the town that is earmarked for regeneration - have been recommended to be refused.

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey (centre) with members of her team and Fern Howard (left) from the Alzheimer’s Society

It follows a visit by the Alzheimer’s Society, who run the Dementia Friends scheme, to help Dr Coffey and her staff understand the effect of dementia on everyday lives.

Lifeboat

Coastguard services were called to rescue a teenager in Corton, near Lowestoft yesterday evening.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages