In a live national broadcast hosted by the National Apprenticeship Service, Rochdale Borough Council was named in the first ever top 100 employers with an outstanding apprenticeship programme.
More than 400 organisations from across the country - including large national employers like Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), The British Army, Sainsbury's and M&S – made the new list.
The ranking showcases the very best of England's large apprenticeship employers, with them being recognised for providing some of the most successful apprenticeship programmes over the previous 12 months. It will help potential apprentices, parents and careers advisers to identify the best apprenticeship opportunities with the highest performing apprentice employers.
The council was asked to take part in the live announcement event to share the work of its programme and the impact it has had on workforce planning and changing the perception of apprenticeships across the borough. The panel said they were particularly interested in the overall programme the council offers from induction week, to line manager and ongoing on programme support.
'To be named alongside some massive, private companies just shows how much we're achieving'
Councillor Kieran Heakin, cabinet member for children's services, said: "This is a wonderful achievement and is the recognition our team deserves for the work they are putting in to apprentices and the stability of our future workforce. To be named alongside some massive, private companies just shows how much we're achieving. Our programme is now widely recognised as an opportunity to build a valuable and respected journey on a career path for those interested in apprenticeships. Ultimately our scheme is successful to our apprentices and that is always our focus."
The award recognises the commitment of the council towards the ongoing recruitment of apprentices, alongside the high numbers who progress into permanent roles at the end of their training, which is currently more than 90%.
It also recognises the commitment of employers offering high-quality apprenticeships for people of all ages and backgrounds a chance to learn new skills that are of real value to employers to then progress on with their future careers.
'We have worked tirelessly with colleagues and partners to build a high quality programme that has raised the profile of apprenticeships'
Andy Turner, Rochdale Borough Council apprenticeship lead, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be named as one of the top employers of apprentices in the country. The award is testament to not only the amazing work of the team but to all of the departments and schools who have really bought into the whole apprenticeship ethos. We also have excellent partnership with local training providers who play a very large part in ensuring the programme runs smoothly and to a very high quality. We have worked tirelessly with colleagues and partners to build a high quality programme that has raised the profile of apprenticeships."
This achievement is the latest in a long line of awards for the council apprenticeship programme, including being named at the 'Macro-employer of the year' in the 2018 North West Apprenticeship Awards.
The council has 121 apprentices currently in learning across several council services and schools and are currently in process of recruiting to 16 new roles to start in January 2021.