Council takes on apprentices

Apprentice park keepers and street sweepers are being recruited by Amber Valley council to attract more young people into employment.

Six new apprentices aged 16 to 24 are currently being enrolled to maintain parks gardens and cemeteries, and to carry out street cleaning throughout Amber Valley from March 2013.

The new trainees will be employed for two years and will be given the opportunity to become full time employees if they are successful.

Councillor Martin Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Green and Thriving Places to Live, said: “We do benefit from a good quality workforce in our Landscape Services teams to deliver important front line services to keep our borough clean and green. However, they are mostly over the age of 40 and it is very difficult for young people to enter the council’s operational workforce, as the posts require significant skills and experience, which recent school leavers are unlikely to possess.

“Becoming an apprentice will not only give young people access to the training, experience and qualifications that are necessary to access long-term employment, it also prepares them for the rigors of a good hard day’s work for a wage - an essential framework for young people particularly in the present climate.”

The two year rolling programme will involve six new apprentices being enrolled in the first year and three operatives being enrolled on a yearly basis. No permanent positions are guaranteed, but future vacancies will be ring fenced for the apprentices, who will initially be paid the national rate for apprentices, £2.65 per hour. This increases to the national minimum wage for their age group in the second year.