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.”

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Apprentices at the Young People, Parents & Carers Open Evening

Apprentice Ambassadors Ashton and Mairna were at the Young People, Parents & Carers Open Evening yesterday.

They had a great time talking to people about apprenticeships and where they can lead.

If you would like the Apprentice Ambassadors to come to your event email them at

Apprentices with reps from the Youth Employability Service

Thursday, 11 May 2017

What's it like doing an Apprenticeship at Brighton & Hove City Council?

Listen to Fifi Bula, an Apprentice Business Support Administrator for ICT Schools, and Hannah Cydnie, an Apprentice Registration Officer, who are both doing Level 3 apprenticeships with Brighton & Hove City Council,  talk about why they chose to do an apprenticeship and their experience in their roles.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Apprenticeships - What's in it for the employer?

What's in it for employers?
Watch this video and find out how having an apprentice could improve your workforce.
Suzanne Charlesworth, Nursery Manager at Each Peach Childcare and Andy Parsons, Founding Director of Yelo Architects, explain the benefits of working with apprentices, training them and watching them grow.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Apprenticeships for 25+ - Carpentry Apprentice

Apprenticeships aren't just for 16-24 year olds!

Cheryl Govey explains a typical day in her Carpentry Apprenticeship with Brighton Metropolitan College and why she decided to take on an apprenticeship.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Digital Marketing Apprentice - Luke

Want to know what it's really like for 16-18 year olds doing an apprenticeship?

Watch Luke talk about his experience as a Digital Marketing Apprentice with Get Manic, an SEO and Digital Marketing team based in Brighton.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Fifi's Apprenticeship Story

Fifi Bula 

We interviewed Fifi Bula who is an apprentice in the Education and Skills department. Read Fifi's inspirational story below.

How did you get into the apprenticeship?

I previously volunteered at City View Children Centre for almost a year and at Brighton Job Centre for a few months, at the end of my volunteering period at the Job Centre my advisor suggested I searched for apprenticeship roles in administration. I have to admit, I was a bit sceptical about the idea but decide to give it a try. I went on the council website and came across a Level 2 in Business administration. I applied for my role with very little knowledge and a lot of misconceptions on apprenticeships. But after reading the job’s description for the role, I believed it to be suitable for me.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?
Fifi with the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills at 
the House of Commons for National Apprenticeship Week 2017
During my period of unemployment I remembered how I would constantly remind myself that I need to find a fulfilling job, not a ‘dead-end job ‘ or something simply to make ends meet. As a mother, providing for my children is crucial but I remember the following quote by Steve Jobs “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”. I felt very comfortable in my new role as an apprentice as some of the tasks were quite similar to those in my previous volunteering roles. I am extremely lucky to be working with some amazing people. In my role I support my manager providing services to schools and liaise between Schools and the Service providers. I work in a dynamic and often very demanding environment but the support from my mangers, colleagues and my assessor from City College has been extraordinary, I have now completed my Level 2 Business administration and I am progressing onto Level 3. Onwards and upwards!

What are the rewards of doing an apprenticeship?

My apprenticeship has helped me develop skills such as oral and written communications skills; I have learnt to balance and manage workload and mainly to prioritise. I do love being a mother but I believe to be so much more and through my apprenticeship  I’ve found a new  sense of purpose , providing services to schools all through the city makes me feel  valuable and reinforce a sense of belonging. It’s a privilege to be able to work while learning; gaining a qualification while earning a living. It’s a win - win situation and the feeling and satisfaction it brings is indescribable.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

I would definitely recommend ‘Apprenticeships’ and certainly advocate to others. Through my work I have met others apprentices who have accomplished amazing things and many who are on their way to achieving their goal and realising their dreams.  I have not decided what my next step will be but I am enjoying the journey so far. Working full time and being a single parent can be challenging but with the right support system, I now realised that when I started my apprenticeship I was far from understanding what I was getting myself into… I underestimated where my apprenticeship could take me.  I realised that I can exceed my own expectations, sky’s the limit!

Apprentice Technical Support Officer - Sajid Rahman

Sajid and the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills

Sajid Rahman 

Age: 19
Apprenticeship: Technical Support Officer
Qualification: Level 2 Business Administration 

Before my apprenticeship I went to BHASVIC college to study my A levels. I studied maths (pure and mechanics), biology and physics. After college when weighing up my options I realised that I did not like the university type studying with lectures and that I prefer to learn whilst working.

I currently work for Brighton & Hove City Council as an Apprentice Technical Support Officer in Regulatory Services. My day to day tasks involve answering the phones, processing job sheets for offices, going out on site visits that range from noise complaints to pest control and licensing inspections.

I am currently undertaking a Level 2 Business Administration course with City College in Brighton. After my I complete my apprenticeship, I hope to progress further in the business environment and take on higher apprenticeships.  

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Transport Projects Apprentice - Mairna Marzoug

Mairna Marzoug

Age: 18
Apprenticeship: Transport Projects
Qualification: Business Administration Level  2 

Before my apprenticeship I studied A-level accounting, maths and physics at BHASVIC College. I really enjoyed the subjects that I was doing and the different opportunities that they had on offer to develop your skills and gain more experience.

 I realized that a lot of the work I was doing was in preparation for exams, whereas I wanted to focus on skills and experience that I could carry with me into a professional working environment. I also wanted to be able to have more time to learn and overcome the new challenges that come with working professionally. Therefore, this apprenticeship was a great opportunity as it was in the sector that I was looking for, and it was a happy middle ground between college and work.

My day-to-day tasks include general administration tasks e.g. minute taking, reporting data, handling mail, writing emails and using the phone. In my job I am also given time to complete my college work, I am undertaking a Business administration Level 2 which is run by City College in Brighton. My favourite project I have worked on so far has been the ‘Breeze up to the Downs’ Project where I get to experience the marketing side of the apprenticeship. I work alongside my manager as we liaise with the designers for the leaflets, planning the contents of the various leaflets for each season, as well as producing distribution lists and taking minutes for the group meetings.

I am currently in the early days of my apprenticeship; I want to explore the different apprenticeship options for the future, such as a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Finance which Brighton and Hove City Council offer. 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Apprentice Support Officer - Joshua Fahimifar

Joshua Fahimifar 

Age: 18
Apprenticeship: Support Officer
Qualification: Level 4 Business Administration

Before i started at the council I worked in retail and IT sales and attended college. I had studied Design in my first year and didn’t do the best, so after one year of doing A-Levels I decided to study carpentry at City College. I became a qualified carpenter but really didn’t think it was for me and decided to look into an apprenticeship at the council as my friend had done one and has been quite successful. I applied for the role of Apprentice Support Officer and got the job!

I chose my role as I was interested in the aspect of Project Management and wanted to learn more about the way Project Management is done within the local council. I also thought it would be rewarding delivering various projects and producing work that is valued to others. So far so good! I am really enjoying it right now.

City college run my course right now and my mentor is great. I get all the support I need and the feedback of my work is really good.

In my apprenticeship I help senior managers with work they may have, which is different all the time. My role in the team is supporting our team drive modernisation within the council and contributing to high level work. I also produce presentations that go along to senior level managers, as well as attending meetings, and taking actions from them.

After my apprenticeship I hope to do another Project Management Role such as a junior position, but right now I’m focusing on my qualification.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Transport Projects Apprentice - Jonathon Martin

Jonathon Martin

Jonathon in a meeting
Age: 22
Apprenticeship: Transport Projects Apprentice
Qualification: Level 2 Business Administration

Before my apprenticeship I mainly worked in bars after I left college and I briefly did a stint as a Call Centre Representative.

After I moved to Brighton I decided to further my education. Unfortunately, going to university and earning wasn't an option, so I looked at other opportunities.

An apprenticeship gave me the best of both worlds, and allowed me to study Business Administration whilst also working in a relevant environment, gaining skills and qualifications. 

My apprenticeship involves various tasks that change week to week. For example, I have spent the last week attending a National Standards cycle training course, learning how to train people of all ages to cycle safely on the roads. The week before that I took minutes at meetings for a variety of exciting projects that are being planned. 

Once I have completed my apprenticeship I am looking to take my newly acquired skills and knowledge and put them into practice, either here at Brighton & Hove City Council or in the private sector.

National Apprenticeship Week 2017

This week is National Apprenticeship Week 2017 which celebrates the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the economy.

The apprentice ambassadors will be doing a variety of things to celebrate apprentices and spread the word about apprenticeships.

Throughout the week there will be case studies posted onto the Apprentice Ambassadors' blog. These will be of current council apprentices talking about what their apprenticeships involve, what they were doing before and what they would like to do after they have completed them.

Apprentice Ambassadors will be going to City College's open evening on Wednesday. They will be speaking to people about apprenticeships, what they are, how you can apply for one and the vacancies that are currently available at Brighton & Hove City Council.

The Ambassadors will also be visiting Cardinal Newman as part of the school's careers week. They will have a stand where pupils will be able to talk to the apprentices and ask them any questions they may have on apprenticeships.

On Thursday afternoon, the council apprentices are holding a graduation ceremony. Hosted by the council's Chief Executive, Geoff Raw, current and former apprentices who have completed their apprenticeships will be invited to celebrate one another's achievements and receive graduation certificates.

To keep up to date with what the council apprentices are up to and more things happening for National Apprenticeship Week check out our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Brighton & Hove City Council Competing to be crowned Apprentice Team of the Year 2017

Members of the BAC17 team
Brighton & Hove City Council has entered the Brathay Apprentice Challenge (#BAC17), the search for the apprentice team of the year.

Now in its sixth year, the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017 sees teams undertake a series of exciting and interactive work-related challenges to develop new skills and showcase their employer by engaging with young people and businesses to promote the benefits of apprenticeships.

The council team consists of apprentices from Planning, ICT, Programme Management Office, Environmental Protection, Child Development, Communications and Skills and Employment.

Team Leader, Georgia Easteal, said: “I'm very excited for the Brathay Apprentice Challenge this year, we have a great team of apprentices from a variety of roles and I am very much looking forward to working alongside them over the next couple of months.”

Over the next few months the apprentices will be organising lots of events, such as school visits, meeting with employers and doing a community project to help them win the Challenge and promote apprenticeships along the way.

Pinaki Ghoshal, Director of Families Children & Learning, said: “The Brathay Apprentice Challenge not only allows the current apprentices to develop a huge range of skills that will help them further their careers but also creates an opportunity for apprenticeships to be promoted to schools and businesses.
“It will be great to see our team progress through this challenge and I wish them the best of luck.”

Teams initially compete on a regional level with eight teams then progressing to the National Finals with the Challenge culminating in a four day Logistical and Team Building Finale at Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters from 12 – 15 June 2017.

The apprentice team of the year 2017 will then be announced on 14 June.

The challenges are designed to ensure that the teams demonstrate their team building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities. With teams working together on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, the apprentices and employers benefit from an enhanced apprenticeship experience.

Follow the team’s progress on Twitter @BHapprentices
For more information on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge visit

Thursday, 2 February 2017

New apprentices join council nurseries

Five new apprentices have joined the council’s nurseries.
Whilst studying towards their Early Years Educator Level 3 qualification they will be working with children aged from 0-5 years.
Their role will be to support the children in their learning and development and ensuring the children receive excellent care.
The apprentices will be learning the curriculum the nurseries use called the Early Years Foundation Stage which includes how to support children’s learning and the policies and procedures that must be followed to ensure quality care for the children and positive relationships with the families.

Joining the nursery teams are:
Ian Godley at Acorn Nursery
Codie Dawes and Liberty Taylor at Cherry Tree Nursery
George Verrall at Jump Start Nursery
Meg Wakefield at Bright Start Nursery

Pinaki Ghoshal, Director of Children’s Services, said: “I am extremely pleased to learn that we have appointed 5 people to work in our nurseries as apprentices. I’m particularly pleased that they are doing Level 3 courses that should provide them with qualifications to work in any nursery across the city.

“They will be supporting young children in their learning and development whilst also earning a wage. When they qualify they should be able to use these skills to work over many years educating future generations of young children across the city.”