Council apprentices say experience has been ‘incredible’

Published Friday 11 March 2016

“You’re hired” might be Lord Sugar’s catchphrase on popular TV show The Apprentice, but next week local businesses will be encouraged to follow the famous entrepreneur’s lead.

peter nicholls and cllr blake pain




Apprenticeship Week 2016 runs from 14 March to 18 March with businesses in the Harborough district being asked what they are doing to support young people and help them rise to the top.

Last year, Harborough District Council took on two apprentices Peter Nicholls (19) and Ryan Finnegan (18) and is encouraging other businesses and organisations to do the same.

The pair, who are taking their first tentative steps into the world of work, say the experience has been “incredible”.

Ryan (pictured below), who works in the communications and business support teams at the district council, is an ‘apprentice ambassador’ and has been blogging about his experience as an apprentice.

Ryan said on his blog: “Since starting my apprenticeship I’ve learnt to manage my time more effectively and have grown so much more confident in talking to new people. It really has been an incredible experience and that’s only a few months in! By the end of the apprenticeship I will have developed and grown as a person even more.”

Peter (pictured with Cllr Blake Pain), who is an apprentice in the elections and land charges team at the council, said: “Rather than go to university after leaving school I wanted to go straight into a business environment to get real working experience. Working at Harborough District Council has given me this and much more. Currently I am working on two elections, the Police Crime and Commissioner election and the EU referendum. I have my part to play in these projects and feel that I am not only learning a lot but also contributing to the work of a team; something I couldn’t get at university.”

Harborough District Council is making grants of up to £750 available to help local businesses take on apprentices.

To be eligible to receive the grant the:

  • Business must be located in Harborough district
  • Apprentices must be residents in Harborough district
  • Business must have less than 150 employees
  • Business must not have taken on an apprentice in the last 2 years (there may be flexibility on this dependent on circumstances)          

Cllr Blake Pain, Leader of Harborough District Council, said: “Hiring an eager apprentice can bring many benefits to your business or organisation. It’s also a great opportunity for a young person to get their first experience in the workplace. We want others to follow the council’s example and take advantage of this funding to make it easier to take on apprentices.”

The grant application process is being managed by Leicester Apprenticeship Hub.

Find out more about apprenticeships and how they can help your business.

Follow @Apprenticeships on Twitter to find out about latest vacancies or follow the hashtag #NAW2016

Ryan Finnegan