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Apprentice: ‘I’ve come a pretty long way’

Apprentice: ‘I’ve come a pretty long way’

August 26, 2016
Apprentice Jasmeet Bhurjee in the council chamber

Apprentices Jasmeet and Seamus chose to earn while they learn after they left school. Now they find themselves on a path to careers thanks to the Ealing Council apprenticeship scheme. Could you see yourself on the same path as an apprentice?

Now in its 10th year, the council’s apprenticeship programme has recruited more than 250 young people, who have completed at least a year’s work experience and left with qualifications in-hand. The programme involves a one-year training agreement with an optional second year, and a training allowance starting from £160 per week.

The next round of council apprenticeships is being recruited to now and the council is looking for enthusiastic and motivated 16-23 year-olds to get paid to learn new skills and make a start on building a great career.

Jasmeet’s story

Jasmeet Bhurjee works in the leader’s office, helping the council leader Julian Bell and his team. On her first day she met both Councillor Bell and the council’s chief executive.

Apprentice Jasmeet Bhurjee works in the leader's office
Apprentice Jasmeet Bhurjee works in the leader’s office

“It was a big first day. I didn’t know exactly what my role would involve but I would say I’ve come a pretty long way since then,” Jasmeet said.

“No two days are the same and I enjoy the diversity and the fact that I get to see the big picture of how everything works at the council. I help with organising the leader’s event invites, help to set up meetings, as well as dealing with planning, parking, street services and housing case work along with other departments within the council.

“I knew others that went through the apprenticeship journey and watched them succeed and gain full time employment and it made me realise that I could have the same success.”

Apprentices at Ealing Council also have the opportunity to get involved in other projects. Jasmeet said: “This year I helped with the annual apprentice challenge where, as a team of apprentices from across the council, we planned and ran a quiz night and raised close to £2,000 for Bloodwise, our chosen charity.”

Jasmeet would recommend the path she has followed to anyone, and said: “When you are looking for a job, a lot of employers are looking for experience straight away. Doing an apprenticeship is a great way to get that experience and earn a wage while doing so.”

Seamus’s story
Apprentice Seamus Bentaleb has worked on the Ealing cinema project
Apprentice Seamus Bentaleb has worked on the Ealing cinema project

Seamus Bentaleb’s best subject in school was IT and it was a subject he followed through to study at college before working in a bookshop. “I wanted to make the most of my qualification, and knew I needed experience,” he said.

“My aunty suggested that I apply for an apprenticeship after she saw a vacancy advertised online.

“Now I’m a building control administrator apprentice at Ealing Council and I deal with customers and surveyors giving advice around building control applications.”

Seamus has been able to use his previous IT skills to impress his colleagues by helping when a new system was introduced: “We moved to a new database system for loading applications,” he said. “It was a complicated system for everyone to begin with but I enjoyed helping the team to get used to it.

“It’s really satisfying when a customer calls up and specifically asks to speak to me because I’ve helped them on a previous call.

“I like building control and I like IT and they work together well. I’m looking forward to completing my apprenticeship and seeing where this career takes me.”

More information: Key dates and how to apply
  • Opening date for applications: 1 September
  • Closing date for applications: 30 September
  • Apprenticeships starting January 2017
  • Current vacancies, eligibility criteria and application forms are available at www.ealing.gov.uk/apprenticeships