Allerdale Councillors have voted unanimously to encourage employers in the area to follow the Council’s lead and pay apprentices the living wage.
Councillors also backed calls to change the way the government’s new apprenticeship levy works. The legislation dictates that employers will receive funding for a minimum number of apprentices, and any unspent money will be returned to government. However, Leader of the Council, Alan Smith, called for this money to be reinvested in the local area.
The motion came ahead of National Apprenticeship Week which takes place from 6 – 10 March 2017.
Councillor Smith said: “As a council we remain committed to apprenticeships, as they are a key part of our local economy, as well as being a route into permanent employment and qualifications for many young people. It is one of the Council’s priorities to improve skills and education in Allerdale, so we are delighted to be able to provide employment for local people giving them the best opportunity for development.
“We still have some members of staff with us today who started as apprentices, and others have moved on to positions in global companies. We also offer work experience for young people and we recently had a student join us as part of the Centre for Leadership and Performance Dream Placement scheme.”
The Council currently has four business admin apprentices who are working in departments including democratic services, finance, health & safety and planning services. A total of 13 apprentices have worked at the Council since 2010, with four still remaining in permanent employment.
The motion was passed at the Full Council meeting on Wednesday 1 March which took place in the Council Chamber at Allerdale House in Workington.