Quarter 1 - June 2019
Following the significant drop in apprenticeship starts in the last academic year across the country; this year there is growth.  At the end of quarter 2 (31st January 2019) there had been an increase in starts in West Sussex of 7% on the previous year’s figures.  The data for quarter 3 (30th April 2019) has shown a further increase of 6.4% and should this trend continue, the County should exceed the number of starts achieved at the end of the 2017/18 academic year when the figure peaked.  It is likely this is a result of employers and training providers becoming more familiar with the apprenticeship levy introduced in 2017 and the significant development of new apprenticeship standards meaning they more readily meet the needs of employers.
 The County Council has actively promoted the transfer of its apprenticeship levy digital fund to pay apprenticeship training for other employers in the county.  We are currently supporting 25 West Sussex employers to support new apprenticeship starts which will help contribute to further growth.
Quarter 4 March 2019 - Apprentices in West Sussex
We are coming to the end of our 2018/19 apprenticeship year. As part of the Apprenticeship Levy, we have a public sector target for new apprenticeships, which this year was 114 apprentices across our Corporate, Adults’ and Children’s services and 199 across our School provision, making a total of 313. We now have over 100 apprentices undertaking training.
Since April 2018 we have gained traction and are supporting both our staff and newly recruited apprentices to develop their skills and professional qualifications across a whole range of subject areas. We have developed a 3-year plan with all Directorates and Schools to map where there is the potential for workforce development using the Apprenticeship Levy.
We have worked closely with all services to identify relevant apprenticeship standards for our staff, addressed queries around qualification structure and content and developed proposals for supporting Care Leavers into career tasters with a view to progressing onto apprenticeships. In addition, we have undertaken marketing and promotional activities to raise awareness and continue with myth busting around the apprenticeship offer to existing staff, through a range of channels.
We have an Apprenticeship Governance Board which helps ensure ownership of the apprenticeship agenda amongst the senior leadership team and have grown the board to include Champions to further promote the agenda and look at new opportunities.
During the autumn an animated film was produced for schools to help highlight the benefits of apprenticeships and how schools can access funding to support their apprenticeships.  This has been well received with 120 views to date.  In November, the Education and Skills service put on an Apprenticeships workshop as part of an information day for schools.  It was well attended and received positive feedback.  Subsequently the interest from schools has grown and the number of apprenticeship starts across this calendar year has continued to grow. 
Looking forward, as well as continuing to focus efforts on developing our staff, we will be engaging with the newly approved Social Work and Occupational Therapy degree apprenticeships, supporting our Fire Service to transfer their Fire Fighter training over to the new apprenticeship standard and working with organisations across the county to take up the 25% levy transfer offer and implement apprenticeship training in priority areas such as social care.
Quarter 2 - September 2018 - Apprentices across West Sussex
There has been a drop of 33% in new apprenticeships across West Sussex. Nationally, new apprenticeships has also dropped by 33% and the South East average has dropped by 27.9%. Reasons for the downturn are varied and include the move from Apprenticeship Frameworks to Apprenticeship Standards, the lack of available new standards and new sub-contracting rules going live from January 1st, making it difficult for good, niche providers to continue to deliver.
Quarter 2 - September 2018 - West Sussex County Council Apprentices
To support schools in making the best use of the Levy, the Council has a dedicated role to help schools to understand how apprenticeships would benefit them and how to access the funding. This role, alongside a project plan and rolling promotional communications is proving successful as the number of apprenticeships in schools triple compared with 2016/17.
May 2018 Apprentices in WSCC
We have begun a new apprenticeship year at the Council under the new Apprenticeship Levy Programme. Our public sector target for the year is 130 apprentices across our Corporate, Adult and Children’s services and 230 across our School provision.  Across Corporate, Adult & Children’s Services the focus is on apprenticeships such as:
  • Digital Technology Solutions
  • Business Administration
  • Senior Leaders (MBA)
  • Children’s & Young Peoples Workforce
  • Senior Housing Officer
  • Chartered Manager
  • Adult Care Worker
  • Associate Project Manager
  • Commercial Procurement Officer
  • Data Analyst
  • Senior Production Chefs
The recent focus for schools is promoting the new apprenticeship standards which have been approved and relevant to them:
  • School Business Professional Level 4
  • Post Graduate Teaching Degree
  • Senior Leaders MBA (Educational Leadership pathway).
We are working with our corporate services and schools to secure the training providers needed to deliver these qualifications.  
Background
WSCC Apprentices
As one of the largest employers in the county, the County Council has an important role to play in leading by example to demonstrate the benefits of apprenticeships to a range of stakeholders.
We offer a diverse range of Apprenticeships such as Care, HR, Legal, Engineering. Apprenticeships are really helping us to develop our business, Apprentices bring fresh ideas and help us experience new technology to the organisation. 85% of those who completed their apprenticeship have moved into paid employment helping to evidence apprenticeships work and give real economic benefit. As the County Council’s workforce size shrinks and our service provision is outsourced, the impact of the County Council’s apprenticeship programme reduces. It is therefore important, as we commission services, to realistically build apprenticeships and employment and skills initiatives into contractual requirements in order we can maintain the benefit apprenticeships can bring to the local economy.
View our WSCC Apprenticeship pages where you can find out information and view all the latest West Sussex Apprenticeship vacancies. Watch our video 'County Council apprentices find gateway to work'

The National Apprenticeship Service is part of the Skills Funding Agency

The County Council has embraced apprenticeships and wishes other employers do likewise. Any businesses new to Apprenticeships can access information and advice from the Apprentice makers website. West Sussex also offers business to business advice to any employer new to Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are a key way of boosting the local economy, through providing training along side paid work opportunities, providing opportunities for skills development all of which can enhance productivity and increase competitiveness of businesses.