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Apprenticeship scheme wins top UK award

BOLD steps to help develop a new generation of electricians, plumbers, carpenters, plasterers and bricklayers has helped Swansea Council win a top UK award.

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Previous initiatives like Saturday morning 'trade school' for city youngsters thinking about a career in much-needed hands-on trades has led to 150 placements since it started.

And the council's approach to investing in a new generation of skilled craftspeople helped it scoop a coveted UK APSE award for its efforts.

APSE, the Association for Public Service Excellence, runs annual awards designed to promote and celebrate local authorities who go the extra mile to provide great public services for local residents.

Swansea Council's Corporate Building Services team won the Best Workforce Initiative Award, partly for its sustainable apprenticeship programme which has taken on 193 apprentices over the past 15 years.

The apprenticeship scheme forms part of the department's staff development programme which also aims to improve its workforce's skills in a range of other ways including in areas such as safeguarding, hate crime and dementia awareness.

Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy said the award was recognition for the way the service has been transformed in recent years.

She said: "Our submission charted the journey, evolution and development of the apprenticeship programme and how we transferred its ethos, processes and principles into the development of the existing workforce as a whole. Our workforce is better-skilled, more productive and more effective as a result."

She added: "The council spends tens of millions of pounds every year on major capital projects like council house improvements. We also spend millions of pounds on repairs, maintenance of other council buildings. Much of that work is done by our CBS team.

"We're thrilled that our peers have recognised the quality of what we set out to achieve here in Swansea. The real winners are our staff and the residents of Swansea our corporate building teams work with."

Apart from winning the Best Workforce Initiative, Swansea Council's Trading Standards and its Team around the Family in Schools operations were also finalists. A CBS internal performance and efficiency programme was also a finalist, leading to Swansea Council being shortlisted for Council of the year, at the annual National awards.

Photo Council apprentices taken on this year.


 

 

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