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Two-time apprentice pursuing career in care

08 February 2024

An employee on the council’s family safeguarding team said the apprenticeship opportunities offered by the authority have allowed him to earn and learn, whilst deciding on a career path.

George Love, 26, said: “When I came out of university, I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I saw Cambridgeshire County Council were doing an apprenticeship in business administration and I wanted to get into an office environment.

“It was not something I'd done before, and it was just a really supportive way into doing that.”

Following the apprenticeship George was offered an administrative job in the council’s family safeguarding team. It was there that he realised he wanted to progress into a career in social care.

George has just started his second apprenticeship with the county council, a social work degree.

“I really enjoyed what I was doing. I found the team really supportive and I really enjoyed the work,” George said.

“The main benefit to doing an apprenticeship is I get paid my normal salary and still get a degree.

“If I learnt through a different route I'd have another student loan, which is not really something I'd want.

“Also, you can practise immediately what you've been taught in the classroom. You can learn the theory and then within the next day or two, you're out in the field, working with more experienced colleagues to develop your skills.”

George’s long-term plan is to complete his degree and progress within the council’s family safeguarding team.

This National Apprenticeship Week Cambridgeshire County Council is celebrating its 221 current apprentices and the 177 that have completed apprenticeship programmes.

The council offers apprenticeships across a range of sectors like business and administration, care services, construction, early years and education, health, and finance.

More recently, the authority has started offering civil engineering and highways apprenticeships.

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “George’s experience of our apprenticeship programme is exactly what we hoped it will be for so many people.

“Not only does it aim to support our staff to progress in their careers but also to continue working for the council once they are qualified, using their new skills to make a fairer, greener and more caring Cambridgeshire.

“Apprenticeships are not just for people in their teens – you can start an apprenticeship at any age and they can be a really good way of making a career transition.

“I would encourage all of our staff members looking to learn something new to consider an apprenticeship with us.”

Last year Cambridgeshire became the first county council to be awarded Silver membership of The 5% Club’s 2023-24 Employer Audit Scheme.

The award recognised the council’s significant contribution to the continued development of all its employees through “earn and learn” schemes, including apprenticeships.

The council recently launched a launched the Cambridgeshire Academy for Reaching Excellence (CARE) to support learning and develop talent within our children’s social worker and social care practitioner workforce.