Apprenticeships performance report

We submitted the following information to the government for the Public Sector Apprenticeships Target Report, covering the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022.

Number of employees who work in England

Number of Buckinghamshire Council employees who were working in England on 31 March 2022 10,934
Number of new employees who started working for Buckinghamshire Council in England between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022 1,967

Number of apprentices who work in England

Number of apprentices who were working in England on 31 March 2022 197
Number of new apprentices in England between 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 (includes both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship) 91
Full-time equivalents 8,290

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?

This year, in order to meet the target, we have:

  • used our Workforce & Skills Board to
    • oversee the council’s activity in relation to local economy, skills and employment
    • support the Kickstart programme, which has resulted in new apprenticeships following on from Kickstart placements
    • release apprentice levy transfer funding to partner organisations to support local apprenticeships
  • worked with Business Partners to identify opportunities for increased use of technical and professional level apprenticeships to tackle succession planning and recruitment attraction challenges
  • used the Kickstart programme to initiate conversations with teams who have previously not engaged with apprenticeships.
  • promoted extension to the new Hire Incentive Payment scheme
  • engaged with schools through communication channels, webinars and directly calling schools who have yet to use apprenticeships.
  • delivered information sessions for staff interested in exploring apprenticeships

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?

This year challenges have included:

  • budget constraints due to ongoing service restructures which have limited some areas from hiring new apprentices
  • the Covid-19 landscape, which continued to affect the first half of the year with remote working limiting the ability of some teams to recruit inexperienced staff. This has improved with the move to hybrid working
  • a significantly better schools take up this year compared to last, with increased use of teacher apprenticeships

How are you planning to meet the target in future? What will you continue to do or do differently?

We will:

  • continue working with directorates to embed apprenticeships into their restructuring plans
  • continue using our levy transfer capability to support the creation of apprenticeships in priority sectors and occupations across the county
  • develop a new Talent Academy to coordinate career pathways and training including entry and succession programmes for people of all ages across the organisation (this will include the promotion of apprenticeships and career development training)