DROP-IN events are showcasing how council apprenticeships can create career opportunities.

National Apprenticeship Week is taking place this week until Sunday February 9, during which Durham County Council will showcase how it supports career changing opportunities.

Two drop-in events will offer information about apprenticeships at the council, where they are advertised and how to apply.

The first will be on Saturday, February 8, 10am to 1pm at Clayport Library, and the second on Sunday, February 9, 10am to 1pm at Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre.

The council currently has 249 apprentices, with places offered throughout the year.

There are a variety of available apprenticeships, including catering, accounting, construction and business administration.

Cllr Andrea Patterson, Cabinet member for corporate services and rural issues, said: “Apprenticeships offer people the chance to learn and gain a vocational qualification combined with invaluable on-the-job experience.

"It is important we support people to develop their skills, improve confidence and self-belief and enable them to progress.

"I’m absolutely delighted we are able to offer opportunities to people wishing to get onto the career ladder or change their career path.”

The council also offers a number of other opportunities for people wishing to get into work or change their career path.

Durham University graduate, Harriet Cunningham, started 2020 with a new job, following an internship with Durham County Council.

Ms Cunningham, who is originally from Ripon, North Yorkshire, took on an internship at the council as part of the Change 100 scheme, which is run by charity Leonard Cheshire.

The scheme is a programme of summer internships to unlock the potential of students and graduates with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

Monthly sessions organised by the Change 100 team covered topics such as CVs and interview skills, goal-setting, how to ask for reasonable adjustments within the workplace, and networking tips.

Ms Cunningham’s internship came to an end last November and she started a new job in the council’s records management transformation team the next day.

She said: “The jump from university to the workplace can be very daunting.

"The Change 100 scheme really helped me grow in confidence, thanks to the on-going support from mentors and special sessions.

“My placement was in the finance department at Durham County Council, where I learnt skills that I could add to my CV and demonstrate when applying for my new job in records management.”

Fifteen-minute appointments can be booked by emailing hrcorporatetraining@durham.gov.uk

Find out more at www.durham.gov.uk/apprenticeships