Thursday, 8 March 2018

National Apprenticeships week- Digital marketing apprentices

David Alloway

Digital Marketing apprentice for Families, Children and Learning.

How did you get into the apprenticeship?

My route to an apprenticeship was something of an unexpected one. 2017 brought around changes to the way apprenticeships were set up, allowing myself, a 35 year old with diplomas to sign up.

Before working for Brighton & Hove City Council, I was an admin temp for 18 months, while bringing an end to five years as a self-employed graphic designer which I begun in 2012.

Looking back…

Since coming into my role during October, I have now got used to new ways of working compared to my old job. I have flexibility in how I work and when I do in the week, similar to how it was when I was self-employed, just as long as I am meeting my targets.

Working with the council I have a daily minimum of hours instead of having fixed start and finish times this help me to deal with travel challenges when they occur or support situations like unexpectedly having collecting my children from school. Things like this have helped me to feel that I can focus on my work with no nail biting, as long as I am on the same page with my peers at all times.

Working at Brighton and Hove I have felt that my insights and opinions are genuinely sought after and required. My experience as a freelancer has supported me greatly with what I have been learning as a digital marketer. Communicating as a designer is more than familiar to me, but the planning of marketing strategies both large and small are another world entirely.

It can better than you think…

Being an apprentice is about learning something new while being energised and enthusiastic for something that could further your career and build you a future. Customer service and admin was never my thing, but being a creative person and having an appreciation for various projects most definitely was.

Having the opportunity to earn money whilst also gaining new skills and learning has been a huge blessing. Also to be able to work alongside supportive colleagues is excellent. I receive great support from the other apprentices and tutors at college too.

Whether an apprenticeship would be something for you is definitely a decision only you can make. But with the wide range of job tittles now available anyone could consider committing to one. It is simply a matter of having the right opportunity arriving when you are looking for it.

Taking the leap…

I was asked whilst working here not too long ago whether an apprenticeship is something I would want my children to do. To that the answer was yes. Because Not only are apprenticeships becoming popular increasingly accessible, they are widening the field when it comes to careers. You can fast-track your career choice by learning on the job as well off it. Apprenticeships are a way of allowing you to jump in at the deep end straight away and doing it with the right support behind you. Landing the right apprenticeship will have you excited for both the job and the training that comes with it.

If an apprenticeship is something that might consider, here are some pointers which may be useful.

  • Look for fully detailed job descriptions. Make sure that most of your questions have been answered here so you feel comfortable applying for a role. 
  • Research the employer after seeing the advertisement. This will help you form any questions you may have for the employer before making an application and if you get an interview. 
  • If you land an apprenticeship… ENJOY IT! 

Harriet Doherty

Digital Marketing apprentice for Communications

How did you get into the apprenticeship?

I have recently completed my A levels at Varndean college I studied law, photography and public services. At the end of it I knew I didn’t want to go to University but I also didn’t want to jump straight into full time employment, I wanted to boost my education even further but still earn some money. I thought the best way to do this would be to join an apprenticeship.

To begin with I didn’t realise digital marketing was an option as an apprenticeship. But after having researched the role I realised it was something I wanted to do.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?

A few weeks into my apprenticeship I was asked to put together a news article that was then later published in The Argus. Seeing the printed version of my story and showing it to my friends and family was a real achievement for me.

What are the key benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

To start with you’re able to earn a wage whilst learning new skills; this in my opinion is a huge benefit. But you’re also able to kick start a career whilst being given the help and skills that you need.
The difference with working in a job to working as an apprentice is that as an apprentice you’re starting a career that you can build upon and set up a future for yourself.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

Yes, I would recommend an apprenticeship to others, especially if they are unsure what to do next. Then at the end of it if it wasn’t for you there is still the option of going to University or taking your new skills into another job.

I’m often asked do you wish you went straight into an apprenticeship after finishing school. My answer for that is no, because if I had I wouldn’t have gained the skills from previous experiences and I also wouldn’t have this exact opportunity that I do now.

National Apprenticeships week- Debt Collector apprentice

Alessandro Stagnaro
Debt Collection Apprentice


How did you get into the apprenticeship?

Since moving to the U.K, I have been interested in finding a way to get qualifications to enrich my curriculum. I soon realised that the best path to reach this aim was to join an apprenticeship. After finding one that best matched with my background and the work I've previously done, I applied for the job vacancy offered from BHCC for the Debt Collection apprentice position.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?

As an apprentice you have the opportunity to receive a huge and substantial amount of notions due to the courses you are carrying on. It may sound like something taken for granted but not every job offers the chance to be educated before being involved in work tasks.

What are the key benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

As an apprentice you’re a student who intends to further your knowledge and you are able to do this because you are given enough time to focus on your studies outside of work. You are in the position to ask any relevant job’s matters. Although some exams are involved and these can be challenging they are helping you to follow a path that will allow your knowledge to become stronger.

 Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

I would definitely recommend any kind of apprenticeship to anyone that wants to grow their career to the best it could be. I don't know of a better way to undertake a professional path then by starting with an apprenticeship.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

National Apprenticeships week- Parking Officer apprentices

Blogs from our Parking Officer Apprentices

Did you know you can gain an apprenticeship as a Parking Officer? Have a read from some of our Parking Officer apprentices to find out how they got into this rob role and more.

Thiago Pereira
Parking Officer

How did you get into the apprenticeship?

I wanted to build a career, working for the local authority seemed like a great path to take however, this was to be a severe change to my career path. I found the apprenticeship opportunity advertised on the council’s website and decided to  apply. I was subsequently successful. I have since secured a permanent position in the same role, which I love.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?

Working with lots and lots of wonderful people, with a plethora of experience in so many areas. It is great to learn from their experience.

What are the key benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

Leaning the role and earning a wage at the same time.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?  

Yes absolutely!!!

Charles Keynton
Parking Officer

How did you get into the apprenticeship?

I heard about the apprenticeship from searching online, through job sites. At first I dismissed it, as I knew very little about apprenticeships, but something kept urging me to look back over it. From there I was able to glean more information, searching the web to learn more details. 

What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?

The most rewarding part for me is a tough question, mainly because there are so many rewarding parts! The apprenticeship has afforded me an incredible opportunity to get into a new career, grow as person in my new job role, I’ve met some really cool people in my department and helping people engage with the community through our services is another rewarding aspect, I really couldn't pick just one! 

What are the key benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

The key benefit for me was that I was able to get into a new career. I was a Music BA graduate from Chichester University, gradually becoming a failed musician in the work place after I left. I worked in an express supermarket to pay the bills and was growing increasingly tired of it. I’m not saying give up on your dreams, but depending on your circumstances, sometimes you have to do something else and I have no regrets. Due to a lack of admin experience at the time, a lot of employers weren’t keen on me in those kinds of roles so an apprenticeship was like an open door to me.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

I would definitely recommend apprenticeships to others. It can be a great way into a new career, gaining experience, new skills and working with talented professionals.

Ade Ayodeji
Parking Officer

The apprenticeship program has been extremely good to me. Helping me in so many ways. I am extremely happy I took up the opportunity to get on the program.

How did you get into the apprenticeship?

My Partner actually got into the program first doing a level 2 NVQ Business Administration and working at the same time also, she talked about the opportunities and the experience one could gain. I always thought there was an age restriction in doing the program but that ended a while back now.

I started researching on jobs and programs I could go on and came across the Parking Services Apprenticeship on the council website. The training and description given about the job was always something I wanted to do and something I was kind of familiar with.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?

Been able to get back to study and gain a qualification while working, is one of the most rewarding aspects for me. Learning without not a lot of pressure (learning on the job)

What are the key benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

  •         Getting a recognised qualification that could even help in job progression.
  •         Still getting paid while working
  •         Having time off to do the work and assignments
  •          Not been pressured and given enough time to learn the new role

 Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

Absolutely, I have already recommended the program to most of my friends that are not happy with jobs they are in at the moment. It gives one an opportunity to get into the work environment and see if you will like the role. You get paid for it and also get a qualification at the same time. This is a win, win for everyone.

National Apprenticeships week- Planning apprentice

Caitlin Deller 

Planning Apprentice 

How did you get into the apprenticeship?

I had recently completed my Level 2 qualification in child care at Varndean College; I knew that I wanted to do an Apprenticeship as my sister has just finished completing one and had really benefitted from it. I was mostly searching on the Gov ‘Find and Apprenticeship’ page - this website helped me find apprenticeships from all over, including Brighton and Hove City Council. When I spotted these within the council, this immediately sparked my interest in as I would have never previously thought of apprenticeships based within my local council. This led me onto searching the Brighton and Hove City Council’s job page in which I found a Planning Apprentice position. The applications will vary on the type of apprenticeship you are applying for and the area of workplace, however my current apprenticeship required the usual information such as previous experience and jobs, qualifications, etc. and also required reading the person specification and explaining how you meet those certain criteria’s.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?

When I first saw the job title and role, I hadn’t actually had any knowledge of planning or how the council’s planning department worked. Having the opportunity to learn something completely new was not only a refreshing change from learning the basics at school and college, but it provided me with insight into roles that play a huge part of our towns and cities which younger people may not be aware of. Within my role I have also taken part in apprenticeship activities such as presenting to secondary schools about apprenticeships and what they entail. This was a very rewarding part of my time I’ve spent as an apprentice and helped towards students who may not know what they want to do in later life. Within my past 1 and a half year spent as an apprentice within the council’s planning department, I have quickly developed and gained a vast amount of knowledge. I have worked within the planning admin teams, all the way through to carrying out work at assistant planning officer level which includes writing up reports for applications. I am pleased to have been given this opportunity to develop and increase my knowledge within both a busy work-place and college.

What are the key benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

Doing an apprenticeship is an amazing opportunity to learn an entirely new thing which you may have never come across before. You gain practical experience and will be putting this into place at work, all whilst studying for the subject at a college for a set day a week or completing assignments essential within that apprenticeship (this depends on the type of apprenticeship you are undertaking). You will also be paid for the work you are doing which is a great bonus, and at the end of the apprenticeship you will gain a qualification which can then be used to further develop your career.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

I would definitely recommend apprenticeships to anyone who wants to learn something new, gain physical experience within a workplace and who would like the benefit of being paid for their work. Luckily I was aware of apprenticeships via my previous secondary school and through my sister’s experience previously being as apprentice herself. I would highly suggest having a look online to see ones that may interest you!

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

National Apprenticeships week

It's National Apprenticeships week! 

The time has come again where we can celebrate the work that apprentices do and highlight the benefits of becoming one.

During the week employers and apprentices from across England will come together to celebrate the success of apprenticeships whilst encouraging even more people to choose apprenticeships as a pathway to a great career.

Here at Brighton and Hove city council there are a total of over 100 current apprentices, we will be posting stories about why they chose this career route and to try and encourage others to also think about it. As well as this we will also be sharing content on social media with the hashtag #workforme.

Take a look at the video below to hear how becoming an apprentice has impacted some people in a positive way.

Jednie’s story 

Before my apprenticeship I had been a Supervisor for over 4 years in children’s entertainment and there was no sign of progression available. The position was demanding and challenging, which I loved. Unfortunately I did not feel valued and it was difficult to have my voice and opinions heard.
A colleague I used to work with had applied for an apprenticeship before and had done so well he was hired and was looking at further promotion within his team. He is also an Apprenticeship Ambassador and had told me about the opportunities it opens up for people. At the time I barely paid attention and had the same thought that most people do, that it wasn’t something that could help me and wasn’t something I wanted to do..
Eventually I summoned up the courage to change my everyday norm and I applied for a Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship within the Procurement team in Brighton and Hove City Council. It was the first one on the list and I thought I’d apply and see what happened.
When I met the team I immediately felt like I was wanted and greeted into the procurement family. I’d had a vague idea of what the job entailed but didn’t know the scope of what it covered. I spent most of the first couple of months completely taken aback by the importance of the contracts that the team were dealing with. Thankfully they were patient and helped me with any questions I had. My manager (and his manager) have been super supportive and challenged me and my skills along the way. He gave me lots of projects that were my responsibility and I was able to grow confident in my abilities as I gained the experience.
The Apprenticeship itself is quite holistic. I have found that by just working I have completed parts of my units and all I need to do is remember to take some screenshots and show my understanding of what I have just done. You have an assessor who helps you pin point what you need to work on and you are generally given plenty of time to work on it. Most importantly you get to gain the experience and create a rapport as you do an apprenticeship. This is great for applying for permanent positions in the future.
I am now lucky enough to say that I have succeeded in securing a job as an (acting)Procurement Advisor within the City Services and Infrastructure category of Corporate Procurement and I did this in less than 9 months of starting the apprenticeship. This has been the best step I could have taken for myself and my family (the extra money will help too). I have the ability to be home every day for dinner with the kids and I get to spend weekends with them too, something I haven’t been able to do without a lot of hassle in the last 5 years.
As an Apprenticeship Ambassador I will be helping others out there, who were like me, stuck in a rut and thinking that they have no options. It has been a great way to meet other people in the same situation, made me realise I’m not on this journey alone and that there are plenty of people ranging from younger to older who are doing apprenticeships now. I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to everyone out there no matter what age or skill level, there is something for you!

The only regret I have now is not applying for an apprenticeship years ago, who knows where I could have been by now.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Supported apprenticeships at Brighton & Hove City Council

Apprenticeships create opportunities for many people and Brighton & Hove City Council has been making sure everyone gets the chance to kick start their career.

As lead employer for the city the council is trying to increase the diversity of their workforce. One way in which they are doing this is to support and encourage more people from underrepresented groups, including those with SEND, to consider apprenticeships. Diversity is promoted by offering more flexible working, for example part time apprenticeships.

Meet Alia Hassan, who has autism and is a Business Administration apprentice in the council post room who is successfully developing her skills and increasing her employability whilst having her need for flexible working met.

Read the full story on the council's website.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Apprentice graduate - Theo Duncumb Rogers

Communications Apprentice, Theo Duncumb Rogers, has recently graduated from her apprenticeship at Brighton & Hove City Council.

I have been working in the council's Communications Team for two years whilst working towards my Level 3 NCTJ Junior Journalist diploma.

My everyday job involves writing press releases, covering newsdesk where I answer journalist enquiries, working on the website, producing videos and helping to monitor social media pages.

Working in the council's Communications Team means I get to know all about what is happening across the city and in a place like Brighton & Hove that involves a lot of really interesting things.

I completed my journalism qualification at Lambeth College in London. Once a week I would go up to college where I learnt about media law, public affairs, court reporting, shorthand, video production and much more.

I am also an Apprentice Ambassador at the council. We visit schools and events to talk to students, parents, teachers and employers to promote apprenticeships. This has helped me to improve my public speaking as I had never given a presentation on my own to such large audiences. I also help to run the ambassadors blog, Twitter page and Facebook page. This involves finding and creating content to post and being able to answer any questions we get from the public about apprenticeships.

A few of the highlights of my time at the council have been shadowing the council Chief Executive, helping with the I Am Whole mental health campaign and getting the chance to visit the House of Commons as part of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge.  

This apprenticeship has been an amazing opportunity for me. I’ve learnt loads of new skills and met some great people. Not only this, but I also have a recognised qualification and two years’ work experience.

I’m excited to be able to put everything I’ve gained from my apprenticeship to good use in the future.

There is currently a vacancy in the Communications Team for a Digital Marketer Apprentice. Find more info on the council website.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Apprentice Parking Officer - Charlie Keynton

Charlie takes us on a journey from guitar wielding graduate to apprentice parking officer.

'being an apprentice has opened a
door for me'
Apprenticeship: Apprentice Parking Officer
Qualification: Level 3 Business Administration
Training Provider: GB MET
Team: Parking Services

Like a lot of people I left school and had no idea what I wanted to do career-wise. After studying ICT for three tears at South Essex College, I dabbled in web design before falling into retail where I stayed for ten years. I hadn't envisaged staying in retail for so long, and by the end of my last contract I had become complacent and desperately in need of a change.
I went back to studying, this time an Access Course in Music, which was a stepping-stone to a degree in Music at the University of Chichester. I had a great time at University, but in between playing gigs and writing coursework, I worried about what I would do afterwards. After graduating with a 2:1, I had to move back in with my parents who had recently relocated to the Isle of Wight. There wasn't really anywhere for me to stay, so I had to make do with a caravan in the bottom of the garden; where I stayed for over half a year. Although I enjoyed being with my parents again, those months put a complete halt on my momentum. My girlfriend now lived over a 100 miles away on the mainland and making a regular income from music was difficult.

After moving to Brighton, I worked two jobs with unpredictable hours and ended up selling 80% of my belongings in order to make ends meet. This precarious way of living became tiring and asking our parents for money each month became uncomfortable. After applying for administration jobs for months it became clear that my lack of proper experience was a stumbling block. I'd worked hard at college and university and had several qualifications but employers were reluctant to hire someone with little office experience. Whilst on another disheartening job search, I came across the Apprentice Parking Officer role. At first I had doubts about being an apprentice, and like a lot of people, I had misconceptions about what it would be like. Would the money be enough? Could a graduate apply?

After doing some research I found that I could make more money being an Apprentice at BHCC than I had when I worked in a supermarket. The government had also recently changed the rules for degree holders, which that graduates could now do apprenticeships. It therefore seemed like the ideal way to break out of the 'no experience' cycle and so I applied and got the job.

Now I get to do an interesting job, learn and still do music stuff. It was a big step up and way out. I'm far happier with my life - being an apprentice has opened a door for me, no doubt.

Charlie started his Apprenticeship in July 2017 and will complete in December 2018. You can check out his amazing guitar skills on YouTube. Search 'Charlie Keynton'.

Interested in an Apprenticeship? Search for vacancies using the Find an Apprenticeship Service:

Friday, 11 August 2017

Project Support Officer - Ella White

Apprenticeship: Project Support Officer Apprentice
Qualification: Level 4 Business Administration
Training Provider: GB MET
Team: Workstyles

I am currently in the first year of my apprenticeship at the council where I am studying for a level 4 diploma in business administration alongside my job role as a Project Support Officer.

After my GCSEs, I went to college and studied for my A-levels. I didn’t really enjoy college and I began to hate studying. Whilst I was in college, I also had a part time job on Saturdays and Sundays which equalled to 16 hours across the weekend. This became very difficult as I felt I was working 7 days a week and had little time to myself. Therefore, after I completed my A-levels I decided to try something different and do an apprenticeship rather than take the traditional route of going to university.

Since starting my apprenticeship, I am really enjoying not having the pressure of remembering every little detail from a textbook and I am starting to figure things out for myself by learning actively. I also enjoy working full time Monday to Friday with the weekends off to relax and spend time with my family and friends.

I am gaining brilliant experience and skills by completing my course but also my team is working on lots of projects so I am gaining some really good experience in project work by supporting the project managers. One of the projects I am currently working on is the Brighton Town Hall refurbishments due to take place next year. We need to be prepared in terms of logistics, such as where we will move the current staff in the building during the works and who will move back in after it’s completed. We also have to think about storing furniture and equipment. This is brilliant for me because it gives me the opportunity to keep my options open.

Before I started my apprenticeship I was unsure on what I wanted to do, but now I feel I have a couple of paths that I can pursue in the future to make a career, and I’ve only been in my role for a month!

I look forward to seeing what else I am able to get involved with. 

Ella started her Apprenticeship in June 2017 and will complete in December 2018.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Apprentice climbs her way up the career ladder at Brighton & Hove City Council

Georgia Easteal is currently working as a Re-Housing Administrator at Brighton & Hove City Council and she is doing a Level 3 Digital Business apprenticeship along side.
This is her story...

After Georgia left school when she was 16 she knew that college was not the path for her. She decided to look into other options that would help her get on the road to a new career.

After looking around at her options and several interviews, Georgia decided to apply for an apprenticeship at Brighton & Hove City Council as a Level 2 Business Administration apprentice in the Transport Projects team.

Here she learnt the essential administration and office skills that would assist her in any future job role. Furthermore she got the chance to work on major projects within the city, such as the Brighton & Hove Bike Share, which broadened her knowledge on how projects are managed. As well as these skills she also built up key relationships with colleagues in the organisation.

Whilst doing her apprenticeship Georgia became an apprentice ambassador. This involved visiting schools and going to events where she would promote apprenticeships not only within the council but also across Brighton & Hove.

After Georgia completed her apprenticeship she decided she liked working with the council and so wanted to stay. A job opened up in the Post 16 Development Team for a Level 3 Digital Business apprentice. As she had enjoyed her role as an apprentice ambassador Georgia went for the job and got it.

Her new apprenticeship involved visiting schools just like the ambassadors did but she now also got to set up her own events, including a speed dating event where local employers met young people interested in doing apprenticeships and they could do practice interviews and the young people had the opportunity to give their CVs to the employers.

As Georgia was still doing her level 3 apprenticeship she saw that a vacancy had become available in the Housing Team at the council. Georgia had been interested in working in this department for a while but thought she would only look into it after her apprenticeship was over. However, she decided to apply for this job just to see if they were interested and to get some interview practice in case she did want to apply for a job in housing at a later time.

At the interview she explained how she was doing her apprenticeship and would like to continue doing this if they did accept her for the role.

A few weeks later Georgia heard back from the interviewees and they wanted to hire her!

They had been impressed with the experience she had gained during her apprenticeships and wanted her to join the team. Even though Georgia would need day release every so often for her college course they were happy to take her on as a full time employee.

Georgia is now a few months into her job as a Re-Housing Administrator and is really enjoying it. She said:

“My journey as an apprentice has really helped me get my foot in the door.

“It’s hard work doing an apprenticeship alongside a full time job but I am enjoying the challenge and the responsibility this has given me.”