Skills at your service

MORE than 100 staff at Fenland District Council have enrolled on apprenticeship schemes in the past year, including advanced apprenticeships in customer service, business and administration, and management.

Others have successfully completed a range of NVQs and adult literacy and numeracy qualifications.

About 80 staff members collected their certificates at a recent ceremony in Fenland Hall. The numbers underlined the council’s continuing commitment to skills training and top-quality customer service, according to Paul Medd, FDC’s chief executive.

He said: “It’s fantastic to see so many staff keen to develop and update their skills even in these difficult times. FDC is a learning organisation: our culture allows for and encourages workforce development and that will continue.”

The certificates were handed out by Cllr Alan Melton, FDC’s Leader, himself a former apprentice. He also stressed the importance of the training programme. “It’s not just good for the individual staff involved,” he said. “It’s also good for local people because it helps us to go on delivering excellent services – which is what we’re all about.”

Mr Medd said that increased focus was being put on apprenticeships for people at all stages of their careers, not just young people entering work. They were a good way of enabling people to learn new and transferable skills.

Earlier this year 23 members of the refuse and recycling team became the first to complete their apprenticeship training.

Cllrs Chris Seaton, deputy leader, and John Clark, portfolio holder responsible for quality organisation, also attended the event.

Guests included Gordon West and Glenn Forbes from F1 Training, with whom FDC has been working for the past four years to deliver NVQs and Skills for Life courses. Over that period staff have enrolled on more than 600 courses and 485 qualifications have been achieved.