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Ipswich apprenticeship boost

A major boost to people starting out on the work ladder got the green light tonight from Ipswich Borough Council.

A new Apprenticeship Brokerage Scheme aims to increase the number of small and medium businesses taking on apprentices in Ipswich. Around 80 apprenticeships will be created in the town as part of the Council’s key goal of supporting jobs and training.

The Council’s Executive committee approved the appointment of a broker to oversee the programme and has channelled the funding from its Jobs & Skills Fund.

The programme, which will make it easier for businesses to take on apprentices and match them to potential applicants in the Ipswich catchment area, is in addition to the support the Council already gives to apprentices.

Council Leader David Ellesmere said: “Quality apprenticeships are a great way to get on the jobs ladder. It is not only satisfying but also constructive to see apprentices come through their training and secure permanent employment.” Councillor Carole Jones, Economic Development portfolio-holder, added: “This brokerage scheme will help us to spread the good work being undertaken by many largeremployers by encouraging smaller businesses to take on apprentices.”


Former apprentice James Ager has seen his career take off after a helping hand provided by Suffolk New College and Ipswich Borough Council.

“I started my Level 2 apprenticeship in Business and Administration at Suffolk New College in August 2010. Within a couple of weeks I had been moved up to work in the Principal’s office, supporting the Principal and Vice-Principals by undertaking general office duties, such asmeeting and greeting visitors and answering phone calls.

James-Ager“I moved across to Ipswich Borough Council to start my Level 3 apprenticeship in July 2011 and worked with the Corporate Management Team across a whole range of projects which supported my learning and development. I was heavily involved in public consultations and was given the opportunity to work with different departments within the Council for shortperiods of time. In addition, I provided administrative support across the Council, which gave me an invaluable insight into the political landscape and how the organisation works as a whole.

“Towards the end of my apprenticeship I provided maternity cover for the PA to Directors role and was subsequently appointed on a temporary contract.

“During this time, an internal opportunity arose and I applied to join the Communications & Marketing team. Some experience during my apprenticeship involved working as web editor, so the team was aware of my work ethic and the skills that I could offer. After applying and getting an interview, I was delighted to be appointed Ipswich Direct Project Communications Officer. This was an extremely varied and ever-changing job,which involved managing the various social media channels across the organisation, designing and producing regular e- newsletters and providing a positive customer experience by answering or referring queries. I enjoyed this challenging and dynamic job and learned a lot in a relatively short amount of time, and I was fully supported in the role with any equipment and trainingneeds.

“Recently, I was successful in applying for a job within the communications team at Greater Anglia in London. This was a great career opportunity for me and one that was only made possible by the fantastic experiences that Ipswich Borough Council gave me. I couldn’t have asked for any more support during my time at the Council, and would definitely recommend them as an employer and an employer of apprentices.”

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