Apprentices working across the council were celebrated at a special event held in recognition of National Apprenticeship Week.
Keen to ensure learning-on-the-job opportunities are made available to local job seekers, Croydon not only offer apprenticeships within the council itself, but has ensured its contractor partners also reap the benefits of taking on young learners.
The event held earlier this week, commended the value and contribution of apprentices working for the council’s housing and schools maintenance contractors, Clairglow, Axis and Mulalley; who have brought employment opportunities to the borough and have been working with the council and Croydon Works – the council’s job brokerage service – to make the apprenticeship scheme a success.
At present there are 27 apprentices, working on repairs and homes and schools improvements contracts after both companies committed to offering one apprenticeship for every £1m of council contracts.
Mulalley apprentice Kaval Burke, began looking for an apprenticeship after deciding on a career within the construction industry and taking an eight day intensive course at Croydon College.
The 17-year-old from New Addington, said: “After I found out about the Mulalley apprenticeship scheme I had an interview, followed by a week’s work experience and I was overwhelmed when Mulalley offered me the job. I am learning to box in pipes and am enjoying doing that. Once I have finished my apprenticeship I would like to become a carpenter.”
Saphron Baker-Shanahan began looking for an apprenticeship after finishing a BTEC in Science. Keen to pursue a hands-on career where she could learn new skills, she started as a plumbing apprentice at Axis last September.
She said: “Before I started I was really nervous because it was a big change from what I was doing before at college. It turned out I didn’t need to be nervous as everyone made an effort to make sure that I felt like a part of the team. It’s great because I am learning and working at the same time – I definitely feel like I’m learning a lot.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, said: “This event is a fantastic way of not only celebrating the council’s commitment to current and future apprentices in Croydon, but also to highlight the value apprentices bring to an organisation.
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way of growing a pool of talent for the future, and give people in our community the chance to earn while they learn and develop their knowledge, skills and experience in the world of work.”