COVID 19 – Apprenticeship Update
During the current COVID 19 pandemic, Learning & Skills is continuing to provide high quality apprenticeship training to businesses and residents of Darlington and the surrounding area. We have adapted the way that we are currently working and are supporting apprentices and employers remotely, with great success.
We are still recruiting apprentices for employers who are looking to add an apprentice to their team. We have been reactive to the current situation and so can support employers throughout this process. Apprenticeships are still a very successful way of taking on a new member of staff, teaching them your way of working, whilst not affecting your bottom line. There are also grants available to support employers to take on an apprentice.
Apprentices can work towards the theory side of their apprenticeship using the e-portfolio system that is in place. Using this platform, our trainers are able to provide support, feedback and set new targets, allowing apprentices to continue their learning and progress through their apprenticeship training. Trainers are also hosting a range of lessons and workshops using online platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom. Apprentices have continued to have great success completing their end point assessments during the pandemic.
Learning & Skills is very interested in hearing from people who are interested in starting an apprenticeship with us. We are still open for business. We have adapted our ways of working to reflect the current climate, ensuring that we are supporting applicants throughout the whole process whilst providing high quality information, advice and guidance. Our interview process has been adapted to adhere to social distancing measures. Our preferred method is to use video conferencing software, such as Google Classroom, to interview applicants to ensure that they are suitable for an apprenticeship. It also gives us the opportunity to explain the next steps in the process and answer any questions. If video conferencing is not available, or appropriate, then telephone interviews will be arranged.
Apprenticeships last a minimum of 12 months and allow you to gain industry recognised qualifications whilst being employed. You will be paid at least the Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage as you learn new skills and knowledge through high quality on and off the job training. The industry areas we currently offer apprenticeships in are:
Why choose an Apprenticeship?
- Earn while you learn
- Work Experience - Enabling you to put theory into practice
- Support - Experienced tutors available to provide personalised support allowing you to succeed
- Kick start in your career - Giving you experience to move up in your chosen sector
- Develop and learn new skills - Develop your confidence and enable you to work with a range of different people.
Apprenticeships are available to existing and newly recruited employees and can be aged 16-24 (over 25 apprenticeships available in priority skill areas).
- GCSE Factsheet for Parents [pdf document]
- Apprenticeship Statement of Quality [pdf document], [word version]
Click here to view our live apprenticeship vacancies. If you would like to apply for an apprenticeship please follow the instructions on the vacancies page. Alternatively you are able to complete one of the following application forms.
- apprenticeship application form - Opens in a new window and will come straight to us once completed
- application form - You will need to email this form to l&[email protected] once completed
Having this apprenticeship has allowed me to see where I want to go in my career. I have been able to learn multiple things from lots of different angles. No two days have been the same and I have loved every minute of it.
Gemma - Specialist Support Teaching & Learning in Schools Apprentice (October 2020)
My apprenticeship has given me the support and qualifications to begin my chosen career. It gave me a wide range of experiences to progress straight into a job working as a Teaching Assistant for children with SEN. It has also given me the confidence to go to University and study Primary Education, becoming a qualified teacher in 3 years.
Phillipa - Specialist Support Teaching & Learning in Schools Apprentice (October 2020)
This apprenticeship has really opened the door and my eyes for a lot of new tasks. It has made me develop a whole bunch of skills and has really brought the best out in me. Learning and working is the best way to gain experience and learn my trade. It has made me develop a lot more confidence in what I do and has really tested me to bring out the best.
Kieron - Specialist Support Teaching & Learning in Schools Apprentice (October 2020)
I feel more confident diagnosing and fixing faults. They have developed and improved a lot. I have used what I have learned and put in to practice in my job. Yes, I strongly say that my knowledge and personal skills have improved.
Motor Vehicle Apprentice ( November 2019)
My skills have massively developed since I started with Darlington Borough Council Learning & Skills. I have gained a wide range of new skills not only within the business support aspect, but also with all the training I have received, in aspects such as safeguarding, health and safety and first aid. I have become more confident on the telephone and dealing with tricky customers. The advice I got from Barbara helped both in a workplace environment and in general day to day life. I have grown so much as a person, especially surrounding social skills. I cannot thank the L&S team enough for what they have done for me personally, they will never truly know how much it means to me.
Business & Administration Apprentice (April 2019)
Bobby Dobbs, who completed an Advanced Apprenticeship in Specialist Support Teaching and Learning in Schools is now employed in the Special Educational Needs team with Durham County Council.
“I started my apprenticeship purely to get an insight into the day to day life within a school and to see if that was a career I would like to peruse. I had already worked in schools, as a volunteer during sixth form, working on the arts as part of the drama group I was in and this is what sparked the interest of working in education. Already knowing that I wanted to work with special needs, I thought that this would be a great chance at starting some sort of career path. I loved my apprenticeship and I would do it all over again if I could.
In late 2018, I gained employment through Durham County Council. Although it’s not in education, it is working with people who have SEN. My job is to help them find employment, whilst helping develop their skills for that role - very different to what I loved doing last year however, thanks to my qualification, I could return to a school (or try many other things) if it doesn’t work out for me with the council.
A huge part of why I have loved the last year is the constant contact and support I received from my tutor and Learning & Skills and I could not recommend them enough.”
Caroline Towers, who completed an Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeship in Business Administration while working in Darlington Borough Council’s HR team, is now employed as a HR Officer with Hitachi Rail Europe in Newton Aycliffe.
“It has been a brilliant 2 years for me – I have gained such valuable skills and knowledge from my workplace that I can now offer to my new employer. Learning in centre has been brilliant; Barbara is always supportive and makes learning interesting. Both Barbara and Ian always had my best interest at heart and went out of their way to help me and offer advice. My line manager has been amazing, couldn’t have been better. All of my colleagues were so friendly and overall I have enjoyed every minute and would like to thank everyone”.
Luke Reynolds, who completed his Advanced Apprenticeship in Motor Vehicle, has been awarded Aycliffe Business Park’s Apprentices of the Year, beating competition from large companies such as Gestamp Tallent and Hitachi Rail Europe, to scoop the accolade at the Make Your Mark business awards event, held at the Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe.
Luke, originally from Branksome School, joined the Diploma Motor Vehicle Level 2 Programme with Learning & Skills in September 2012. The course did not include mandatory work experience, but it was introduced to provide an insight into the world of work in the garage environment and to develop transferable skills. After successfully completing this course, Luke embarked on an Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeship with Gregg Little Testing Centre. On completion of these, Luke gained a full-time position as Technician and Transport Manager with Gregg Little Testing Centre.
"My Level 3 apprenticeship with Learning and Skills has helped me begin my career pathway in Housing. Learning in the centre has allowed me to put my skills and knowledge into practice and I feel I have been fully supported throughout."
Allocations Support Assistant
"Learning & Skills Service gave me a great opportunity to learn valuable knowledge and skills to further develop the skills needed in the workplace. I have successfully completed both a Level 2 in Business and Administration and a Level 3 NVQ in Customer Services. The support given by both the management and colleagues in the workplace and the supportive guidance and training from Barbara, has helped secure a full-time position within the Customer Services environment and has also widened the horizon for future prospects."
Customer Service Adviser
Well done Lana!
Many congratulations to one of our Level 3 Apprentices, Lana Kasagic, who recently passed Level 3 Business Administration with distinctions in all areas. Lana now works for law firm Watson Woodhouse Solicitors in Middlesbrough. The company is paying for her to go to university, which she started on 18th September. Lana was in Leeds last week helping her new manager with a big legal case. Her tutor Barbara say Lana is super excited about her new role as a Trainee Solicitor – we wish her the very best for her future legal career.