Nottingham City CouncilAbout the organisation Nottingham City Council is the non-metropolitan district council for the unitary authority of Nottingham in Nottinghamshire. It consists of 55 councillors, representing a total of 20 wards, who are elected every four years. The challenge The Council was seeing high levels of unemployment among 16-to 24-year-olds, while employers were complaining that young people they did hire were not "work ready". It was also facing workforce planning issues and wanted to ensure its workforce was as representative of the city as possible. What the organisation did
- Decided to expand its existing apprenticeship offering to target young city residents considered furthest from the job market, as well as groups currently under-represented in the workforce.
- Ran selection days for pre-employment courses, with a guaranteed interview for an apprenticeship at the end.
- Extended apprenticeships into areas such as cleaning, catering, horticulture, trading standards and commercial services.
- Engaged with services to ensure provision of apprenticeships met their workforce planning needs.
- Offered mentoring, coaching and buddy schemes to provide apprentices with the best support.
- Introduced Apprentice of the Year category to council awards.
- Organised networking sessions so that apprentices past and present can share experiences.
- Ninety-two percent of apprentices say their confidence has grown since starting the scheme, while 96% would recommend it to others.
- Key areas of under-representation have been addressed: 41% of 2014/15 apprentices came from BME backgrounds, versus 19% of the overall workforce.
- Recruitment costs savings have been generated of around £237,000; and 70% of apprentices are retained saving further on hiring.
- Council’s apprenticeship scheme has become a model of best practice for Skills Funding Agency.
- Drop-out rate has declined from 17% in 2013/14 to 13% in 2014/15.