Apprenticeship Week

Our Labour-run Council is proud to provide 250 new apprenticeships each year – around 10% of those on offer across Bristol. They are helping us deliver for Bristol, and, as just one example, a Skills Academy and on-site training programme will help build the careers of 36 new tradespeople, while delivering 268 new homes (55% affordable) at Romney House through Goram Homes and Vistry Partnerships. We have also invested in the £9 million Advanced Construction Skills Centre in Hengrove, south Bristol, and, more personally, I am proud that a number of Bristolians have started their council careers as apprentices in the Mayor’s Office since 2016.

These jobs are the foundation for long-term careers, complemented by our city-wide work experience programme. Through Bristol WORKS, we are harnessing the talent of young people from every corner of Bristol, regardless of their background, and, working with local employers, have provided some 12,000 experiences of work – including virtually during the pandemic.

Serena and Dennis being presented with their awards by Jane Taylor and Zara Naylor

With apprenticeships in England falling by 135,000 between 2010 and 2020/21, sobering statistics for such an important pathway into the world of work and alternative to university. I welcomed the announcement that payments to employers hiring new apprentices would double in last year’s Spring Statement, but it is clear that more needs to be done by Government.

We were proud to see On Site Bristol, who support around 300 construction apprentices, honour two of our council apprentices with awards for their performance and progress. Congratulations to Serena Giambarresi and Dennis Nziza, two Plumbing/Gas Engineer apprentices in our Housing and Landlord Services, Responsive Repairs team.

Another such exciting opportunity is our Solicitor Apprenticeship Programme, in partnership with law firm Womble Bond Dickinson, giving young people the chance to gain a qualifying law degree without the cost of university and with six years’ legal experience already under their belts. Applications are open until 15 March for this scheme.

Faria Jadoon, one of our apprentice solicitors, could not recommend the role more highly.

“I am currently in year 3 of my apprenticeship, seated in the Property, Planning and Transport Team at Bristol City Council. No two days are the same because of the variety of work the Council carries out to meet the needs of the city. As an apprentice, I get to work with different legal teams, which not only gives me a breadth of  experience but will help me make a more informed decision in pursuing a final area of interest.

“Perhaps one of the biggest perks of being a Solicitor Apprentice for the Council is the opportunity for secondment with Womble Bond Dickinson. I am starting my employment law seat with WBD this spring and looking forward to the experience of working in a private practice. This really is the best of both worlds and a golden career opportunity.

“Six years is a big commitment and combined with the part-time LLB, makes this apprenticeship challenging but nevertheless, very rewarding. If you thrive on being the better version of yourself through positive challenges, then this apprenticeship is for you. Good luck with your application!”

To hear more from Faria, and to apply for the scheme starting in September, click here.