Information on apprenticeships offered by Buckinghamshire Council during the reporting period of 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.
Number of employees who work in England
Number of Buckinghamshire Council employees who were working in England on 31 March 2019: 10,359
Number of Buckinghamshire Council employees who were working in England on 31 March 2020: 10,240
Number of new employees who started working for Buckinghamshire Council in England between 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020: 1,917
Number of Apprentices who work in England
Number of apprentices who were working in England on 31 March 2019: 119
Number of apprentices who were working in England on 31 March 2020: 128
Number of new apprentices in England between 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 (includes both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship): 71
Full-time equivalents: 7,136
Percentage of apprenticeship starts (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship) as a proportion of employment starts between 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020: 3.70%
Percentage of total headcount that were apprentices on 31 March 2020: 1.25%
Percentage of apprenticeship starts (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship) between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 as a proportion of total headcount on 31 March 2019: 0.69%
Factors that impacted our ability to meet the target
What actions have Buckinghamshire Council taken this year to meet the target? How do these compare to the actions taken in the previous year?
Over the last 6 month we have been working with key stakeholders to develop an apprenticeship & training strategy to be presented to our corporate management team in September 20. The strategy and action plan is informed by the findings and recommendations from our participation in the LGA Apprenticeship Accelerator Programme, and addresses our priorities following reorganisation to form the new unitary council from April 20, taking into account covid-19 recovery plans.
We are committed to embedding apprenticeships within our Transformation and service improvement plans, where possible re-designing job roles to create more opportunities to ‘grow our own’ along clearly defined career pathways. We are working with delivery partners and key stakeholders within our locality to deliver a more joined-up approach to career progression in our hard to fill job roles e.g. qualified social workers, occupational therapists and planners.
We are continuing to raise the profile of apprenticeship training within our schools and services, promoting through internal communication channels, attending schools forums, & working with Business Partners. We are promoting greater uptake of the management apprenticeships through the launch of our new leadership framework for Buckinghamshire council. We now work with 26 training providers offering a range of apprenticeship routes at all levels. We have successfully started using the Social Worker degree apprenticeship, and some other more specialist routes like Energy Manager, and Transport Planning Technician.
What challenges have you faced this year in your efforts to meet the target? How do these compare to the challenges experienced in the previous year?
We transitioned to become a Unitary authority in April 2020. This was a major undertaking for all business units and in the preparation phase some services felt unable to commit to apprenticeship programmes when staffing levels were unsure and total reorganisation was underway. This has particularly impacted our recruitment of new talent apprentices. In this last year, we have found that more schools are engaging with Higher level apprenticeship training, using them to increase the skills of existing staff even when they don’t have the budget for recruiting new apprentices. Our Adult Social Care service has published a new workforce strategy which includes the commitment to support upskilling of staff in social work support to undertake the Social work degree Apprenticeship in cohorts of 10 or more each year, starting from October 20.
How are you planning to meet the target in future? What will you continue to do or do differently?
We are optimistic that now we have become a Unitary authority we will be able to progress the development of new career pathways and development opportunities using apprenticeships. A new Apprenticeships Strategy is awaiting approval which will help us with direction of travel, and we are working closely with Business Partners to ensure apprenticeships are embedded across all services and to make use of the opportunities presented in service transformation plans to create new apprentice roles. With the majority of our Services working remotely during Covid-19 measures, we anticipate that next year’s figures of new talent recruitment will be impacted.