MORE than 60 council apprentices have been told you’re hired - as National Apprenticeship Week fast approaches.

Out of 176 apprentices recruited over the last three years, a total of 62 young people who joined Cumbria County Council as apprentices have now secured full-time jobs with the authority.

A further 13 have gained jobs with another employer and 80 remain on the council’s apprenticeship programme. In addition, six have progressed to higher and further education or an apprenticeship with another employer.

Councillor Ian Stewart, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for the apprenticeship scheme, said: “Apprenticeships give young people the opportunity to gain professional qualifications, work experience and a step on to the career ladder.

“The county council is very proud to continue promoting apprentices and we’re delighted with the ongoing success of our apprenticeship scheme, both in employing apprentices and championing apprentices with other employers.

“In particular, our local committees across Cumbria are pleased that they have been able to support an additional 85 apprentice opportunities for young people with small and medium-sized employers. We all know that we have some fantastic young people in Cumbria and it’s crucial to our economy that we grow this talent within the county.”

The council offers apprenticeships in a wide range of vocations, including business and administration, IT, health and social care, emergency fire and rescue, civil engineering and vehicle maintenance.

The council said the apprenticeship scheme underlines its commitment to investing in training for young people, and that Cumbria is reaping the benefits of “growing our own” talent, especially in roles requiring specialist skills where there is a national recruitment shortage.

The latest phase of recruitment has seen seven young people who initially joined the council as apprentices take up junior positions within Highways and Transport, including assistant technicians in highways network and traffic management, and street lighting and highways operatives.

As well as running its own apprenticeship programme, the county council also offers financial support to help and encourage small and medium sized employers to take on apprentices.

Grants from the council’s local committees for Carlisle, Barrow and South Lakeland, and from Eden District Council, have helped create an additional 85 apprenticeship places.

National Apprenticeship Week runs from March 3-7.