Couincillor Anne Jones defends local policy on apprenticeships

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is offering paid apprenticeships; these are being paid at above minimum national rates for apprentices. The apprenticeship works toward a nationally recognised qualification.

Colleges offer the same qualification, but mandatory work placements are unpaid. Young people may not be eligible for free entry to further education for courses, if they are 19, as their entitlement will have expired. For a career in Health and Social Care, they would have to self-fund. 

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has a strong programme across its services for employing apprentices and many apprentices are now full time contracted staff members. The Council also has a number of degree entry level programmes, where fees would be often charged.

The Council has supported care leavers through its own apprenticeships and into full employment with the organisation. Care leavers are under-represented in the workplace.

The likelihood of retention as an employee means that they would be paid, upon completion of training, at rates above the local average.

Labour Councillor Anne Jones said: "It is ironic that UKIP should comment on this matter, much less object. The committee which discusses this, People Scrutiny, is one which they have failed to take up their place."

"People Scrutiny is the committee one would think that  UKIP would be most interested, yet at Appointments Council they failed to take up any scrutiny places. This changed when they realised they could not participate in a special scrutiny project and quickly joined the two other committees."

"Two of my sons have done Government apprenticeships and passed their Civil Service probation. On completion, they had priority on applications as a result" added Anne.

Labour in Southend will continue to campaign for fair pay, for equal pay, and for more jobs in the borough.

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