A learning network for apprentices

A few months ago we reported on the apprentices learning network that had been established in Poole Local Government branch. At the 25 Years of Learning ULR event we had the chance to hear from the apprentices themselves as well as ULR Pete Stratford who was instrumental in getting things off the ground…

As part of jointly working as Young Members Officer for the Poole Local Government branch, apprentices Freya Kendall and Nick Hillman have been developing learning opportunities for apprentices across the authority. As well as negotiating the opportunity for apprentices to move around the borough to experience working in different teams to understand their employer better, they have been organising regular apprentice learning network meetings, based on a yearly rota.

After asking the apprentices what sort of subjects they would be interested in learning more about, team work, CV writing and mental health and wellbeing came out as a topics to feature. As regards the latter Nick and Freya organised an hour session held by Skills & Learning, the adult learning providers in the authority, with one of their expert tutors who covered how to improve your mental health and well being at work, which was very well received by participants.

Overall feedback from apprentices has been that the network has been beneficial for their job role and beneficial in developing networking and wellbeing.

Freya and Nick’s number one tip was –

‘Get the apprentices involved and you can tailor the network to their needs, see what they want to learn and make it personal to them.’

Participants also heard from Exeter City apprentice Chris Garlick and his mentor Godfrey Sutcliffe about the branch’s experience with higher level apprenticeships and the importance of organising apprentices.

Photograph © Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk