A special celebration event recognised the contribution apprentices make to local authority services across Cumbria.
Apprentices from Cumberland Council, Westmorland & Furness Council and Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service were welcomed to the event at Penrith Rugby Club on Friday (9 February) as part of National Apprenticeship Week.
Senior leaders from each organisation kicked off the event by expressing their gratitude and thanks to the apprentices for their work, dedication and the positive impact they make on communities.
This was followed by a presentation from Cumbria Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (CAAN), a group of previous and current apprentices who are passionate about promoting apprenticeships as a career path.
The event culminated with uplifting stories and case studies from apprentices about their individual career journeys, including Francis Armstrong who began her local government career as a support worker and is now undertaking a BA Social Work Apprenticeship with Cumberland Council.
Francis said: “The benefits of apprenticeships are massive, personally and professionally. Through the support and encouragement of colleagues, you develop new skills and knowledge every day.”
Paul Robinson, Director of Enabler Services at Westmorland and Furness Council, said: “It was an honour to attend the celebration event for apprentices on Friday and be able to personally thank them for all they do for local authority services in Cumbria.
“Apprentices often bring new, innovative ways of looking at things, resulting in huge benefits for our teams. I look forward to continuing to see the positive impact they make on council services and communities, as well as seeing their own personal development.
“Our fantastic apprenticeship team are committed to making sure the service is successful across all three authorities, so a massive thank you to them too.”
Councillor Mark Fryer, Leader of Cumberland Council, said:
“An apprenticeship is a brilliant way to kickstart your career, or change career paths, as it is an opportunity to learn new skills and gain invaluable experience.
“The future looks bright as these apprentices will be the backbone of our organisations in years to come, and it was a pleasure to celebrate with them at Friday’s event and hear their personal stories and career journeys.”
Brian Steadman, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said:
“Apprentices have been a part of CFRS for many years now, working in a variety of different roles. They’re an invaluable part of our organisation, with several of our staff starting as apprentices and working their way up to senior roles.
“A huge thank you to all our apprentices and the apprenticeship team for their hard work and commitment.”
Both Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness councils expect to recruit dozens of new apprentices into roles this year, including civil engineering, highways engineering, business administration, project management, accountancy and care services. Recruitment for specific roles will begin in March.
Many successful applicants go on to secure permanent roles and the opportunity to make a long-term career within local government.
For more information visit cumbriaapprenticeships.org.uk or follow @cumbriacouncilapprenticeships on Instagram and the three authorities on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.