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Apprenticeships at Devon County Council

Devon County Council Apprenticeship Programme – FAQs


1. What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a mix of real work and learning. As an apprentice you will earn a real wage and get experience while working towards a number of nationally recognised qualifications. Apprenticeships also give you the opportunity to develop plenty of practical skills. Devon County Council currently offers apprenticeships at intermediate and higher level in a number of different work areas.

2. What apprenticeships are offered by Devon County Council?

Devon County Council offers apprenticeships in the following areas:

  • Business and Administration, Customer Service and ICT – Intermediate and Advanced
  • Civil Engineering – Advanced
  • Business and Administration – Higher Level
  • Civil Engineering – Higher Level

3. What does the Devon County Council apprenticeship scheme involve?

The apprentices have two years to complete their qualifications, this includes the formal qualifications, key skills and technical certificates. Each apprentice undertakes the following:

  • Induction
  • Qualification training days
  • Team challenge event
  • Interview techniques training, presentation skills
  • Any additional training identified by the individual teams
  • Graduation ceremony

4. What support is available?

Apprentices are provided with the following support throughout their two year programme:

  • Day to day support from colleagues, line manager and assessor
  • Knowledge support from assessor and line manager
  • Technical certificate and key skills support from trainer, assessor and line manager
  • Support from current and previous apprentices
  • Support when applying for permanent positions within the Council

5. What service areas have offered apprentice placements in the past?

Since 2006 Devon County Council has employed more than 100 apprentices, they have had the opportunity to work in a number of different work areas including:

  • Adult Health and Social Care Establishments
  • Customer Service Centre
  • Devon Registration Services
  • Economy Team
  • Engineering Design Group
  • Finance
  • Highway Management
  • Human Resources
  • Procurement Services
  • Recruitment Services
  • ICT Technical Network Team
  • Trading Standards
  • Web Team

6. What type of work could I be involved in?

The type of work apprentices may be involved in depends on the placement and the specific duties of that team. Just some of the tasks our apprentices have worked on include:

  • Assisting with projects e.g. Devon Work Hubs
  • Highway inspections and transport surveys
  • Admin support e.g. minute taking, document production
  • Careers fairs, marketing and events
  • Dealing with customer enquires in writing, over the phone, email and via social media
  • Using computer software packages e.g. Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint, as well as specialist packages like Autocad Design, GIS
  • Finance tasks, including invoicing and budget monitoring
  • Delivering the care needs of service users
  • Web design and creation
  • Assisting in the design and maintenance of highway and bridge related schemes

7. What have the current apprentices achieved so far?

Our apprentices so far have been involved in a number of schemes and projects, and have positively impacted upon the Council. Some examples are:

  • Design of the County Council’s Young People’s web pages, which has received positive endorsement from DCC’s web team, and other partner agencies.
  • Annual volunteer team challenge, including mural painting, mosiac building and sensory garden creation in primary schools, woodland restoration and working with the wildlife trust.
  • 98% of apprentices have secured permanent employment within Devon County Council
  • Representing Devon County Council as part of a team at the “Young Local Authority of the year Challenge”
  • Nominations for the Devon Young People’s Achievement Awards and National Apprentice of the Year Award with a winner in the ICT Sector Skills category.
  • Attending the Area of European Regions Summer School in Sweden and Spain.
  • 100% qualification success rate with our apprentices

8. What do the apprentices think of the scheme?

“The scheme is a great way to earn while you are learning. I would recommend it to anyone.”

“Before joining the scheme I thought DCC would be stuffy, bureaucratic and old. I had no idea what opportunities existed within the Council, or what services they provided. My views have certainly changed since becoming an apprentice. I now have a better understanding of the valuable contribution Devon County Council makes to local communities and I feel a part of this.”

“I felt the recruitment and induction was very effective in the way it was carried out, and gave us chance to get a better understanding of Devon County Council as a whole.”

“DCC staff members have been very friendly and have made me feel very welcome.”

“Before joining the scheme I thought I might only be learning very basic tasks, but have been surprised at the variety of work and responsibilities I have been given. The amount of courses, sessions and opportunities that are available for training is also astonishing. More than I expected and great for my development.”

“I think the apprentice program is a great idea which is run very well. It has given people like me a real good start and chance in life.”

“I have found the apprenticeship scheme to be the perfect opportunity for me to work in a professional environment and further my qualifications, whilst being paid. There are also great prospects for me to further my qualifications and secure permanent employment.”

“I believe I have made an impact to this organisation at the Customer Service Centre. I wish to progress and make the most of this fantastic opportunity”

9. How do I apply?

Each summer we begin looking for new recuits – apprenticeship opportunities are advertised through Careers South West and on the DCC jobs website. Recruitment takes place from July to September  with apprentices starting work either in September or October.

10. Who can I contact if I have any questions?

Register your interest by emailing or follow us on Twitter @DCCApprentices to keep up to date with all the latest news and events.