Harrogate council launches apprentice scheme

Harrogate council offices at Crescent Gardens.(1401045c)
Harrogate council offices at Crescent Gardens.(1401045c)

A budget of £50,000 to create apprenticeships at Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) has been agreed by the authority.

Members of the council have agreed to set aside cash to offer apprentice schemes with the local authority.

Coun Jim Clark is HBC cabinet member for finance and resources.

He said: “There has always been an interest and a commitment from our service managers for apprenticeships but funding has often been quoted as a barrier together with the council’s current pay policy for apprentices.

“To address this, a budget of £50,000 has been set up to support the council creating apprenticeships, which will include a number of administrative and trade crafts.

“And to address the issue over pay, we have also agreed to pay apprentices the age-related minimum wage.”

Wallace Sampson is HBC Chief Executive.

He said: “I got into local government at an early age and my development was helped by asking a chief executive to mentor me.

“I am therefore pleased that the council has pledged to support young people in this way.

“We have always been open to mentoring and work experience and a new programme of 52 work experience placements, covering a diverse number of services, has just been offered to local schools.”

The scheme will be launched in January.

The announcement comes after the authority received a £63,000 grant to support the creation of 40 new apprenticeships in small to medium-sized businesses across the district.

HBC has also run a successful internship scheme with the University of York, whereby three graduates work with the council on specific projects. This funding came from the council’s membership of the Leeds City Region, aiming to generate 2500 additional places in the city region by 2015.Apprenticeships with HBC will be advertised on the council’s website www.harrogate.gov.uk and with the National Apprenticeship Service.