Nottinghamshire County Council apprenticeship scheme is ‘an opportunity’

Apprentice youth worker Rosie Jo Topliss with Co. Coun. Andy Stewart.
Apprentice youth worker Rosie Jo Topliss with Co. Coun. Andy Stewart.

EDWINSTOWE teenager Rosie-Jo Topliss is one of many young people benefiting from Nottinghamshire County Council’s expanding apprenticeship scheme.

The project was launched in September last year and offers apprenticeships across the council’s services, including catering, libraries and human resources.

The expansion looks to offer a further 25 places over the next year.

Already, 18 placements have been organised which aim to offer 40 weeks of paid work experience within the authority to help participants gain an NVQ qualification.

Rosie-Jo (16) began her placement as an apprentice youth worker in the Mansfield and Ashfield area in December last year, describing it as a ‘rewarding’ experience.

Her placement involves assisting with street-based youth work and sessions for local teenagers on issues such as life skills, sexual health and graffiti art.

Rosie-Jo said: “I am surprised how hands-on it has been as I can really get involved and make a difference which is great. I think it is really important to get the experience when you leave school as well as getting qualifications so I have found the placement very worthwhile.”

Although her placement runs until September, Rosie-Jo said it has already ‘confirmed that I want to go into youth work in the future’.

Coun Andy Stewart, the council’s cabinet member for personnel and performance, said: “We have had a lot of very positive feedback so far from both the young people involved in the apprenticeships and our employees who are working alongside them.

“We are expanding the programme to give more young people the opportunity to gain hands-on paid work experience and a qualification which will boost their chances when looking for employment further down the line.”