The region’s largest council is looking to recruit 66 apprentices to a wide range of posts, from entry to degree level.

Durham County Council is advertising the vacancies to coincide with the launch of its Apprenticeship Strategy for 2019-2022.

Representatives from the council and the GMB and Unison trade unions were joined by current apprentices as they signed their commitment to the strategy, which outlines what the council wants to achieve as an employer and the positive action it will take over the next three years to increase the number and range of apprenticeships within the council.

Leader of Durham County Council, Cllr Simon Henig, said: “Our apprenticeship programme is an integral part of our approach to address current and future skills needs.  Apprenticeships help us to attract and retain the very best talent and to benefit from a skilled, motivated and flexible workforce.

“We are committed to investing in the continued expansion and development of our apprenticeship programme.  Through increasing the range and extent of apprenticeship opportunities, we can help to improve the skills base of our own workforce and across the county.”

Vacancies for 66 apprenticeships, from entry to degree level, are currently being advertised at www.northeastjobs.org.uk. Posts are available in a range of occupations including business administration, ICT, financial management, civil engineering, highways, electrical, bricklaying and horticulture.

Twenty-two-year-old business administration apprentice, Amber Kotwall, from Wolsingham, said: “I graduated from Durham University last year and was looking for a job where I would feel fulfilled. The process of searching for jobs can be stressful and I had looked at several different types but the Durham County Council apprenticeship at the North Pennines AONB Partnership really stood out to me. I have learnt so much about the area where I grew up, helping the environment and being in a workplace for the first time. I am not sure what path I will go onto next, but I am confident that my apprenticeship with Durham County Council will help me secure it.”

Twenty-four-year-old Aaron Evans, ICT apprentice and Durham County Council apprentice ambassador, from Durham City, said: “I’ve enjoyed moving between the different ICT teams to see different aspects and ranges of jobs I could work in.

I’ve also had the opportunity to develop and learn new skills while being supported by my managers and colleagues. The training has given me a good knowledge base and the confidence to apply for future job opportunities within this area of work.”

A copy of Durham County Council’s Apprenticeship Strategy 2019 to 2022 can be viewed at www.durham.gov.uk/apprenticeships.