Apprenticeships for all in Calderdale

Joanna Greenwood. Apprentice Social Worker at Calderdale Council

Anyone can be an apprentice.

Regardless of your age, background, experience or area of work, apprenticeships are for all.

That’s the message from Calderdale Council this National Apprenticeship Week (5 – 11 February 2024).

The Council is celebrating the positive impacts of apprenticeships, and is encouraging people and businesses to think about how they could benefit them.

This year’s National Apprenticeship Week theme is ‘skills for life’. This supports the Council’s priorities for reduced inequalities and thriving towns and places, as apprenticeships can help individuals to build skills and knowledge for a rewarding career, and businesses to develop a future-ready workforce.

As an organisation that embraces apprenticeships, the Council is showcasing examples of the amazing contribution its apprentices make.

There are currently 30 apprentices working for the Council in a range of services, from social work and housing, to administration and human resources. There are also 125 existing employees studying an apprenticeship qualification as part of their role. The apprenticeship qualifications cover various subject areas, from level two upwards. This includes degree-level apprenticeships, which are a great opportunity for staff to develop without the costs of going to university.

Joanna Greenwood, Apprentice Social Worker at Calderdale Council, said:

“Embarking on my role as a Social Work Apprentice has been quite a journey. Studying for a social work degree is something I had considered for a couple of years.

“Calderdale Council has been very supportive, offering advice and work-shadowing opportunities along the way.

“Sure, it’s a demanding journey, but the real-world experiences, the tight-knit group and all the lessons learned, make this social work apprenticeship a truly enriching experience.”

Read Joanna’s story here:

Jumaimah Iqbal, the Council’s Principal Occupational Therapist, said:

“Our Occupational Therapy department has successfully recruited two apprentices. As a team, it is important we have a range of skills and experience, and apprentices bring that and more!

“Apprenticeships give people access to funding for a qualification that otherwise may not be an option due to cost, giving everyone the right to further education. Better yet, you get to earn as you learn. Apprenticeships also benefit other staff in the team, giving them the opportunity to develop mentorship experience.”

The Council’s apprenticeships are for all ages, providing an excellent pathway for anyone wanting to start or progress their career.

Cllr Silvia Dacre, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources, said:

“This National Apprenticeship Week and beyond, we are showcasing the Council’s longstanding commitment to apprentices, both within our own workforce and in businesses across Calderdale.

“Calderdale is known for its incredible talent. We want to nurture that talent and keep it here in our borough, highlighting that apprenticeships are an option for anyone and helping everyone achieve their potential through the Vision 2024 for Calderdale.

“Through our Workforce Strategy, we want to continue to be an inclusive employer of choice, providing opportunities for development, rewarding careers and work experience that changes not only the lives of our apprentices but also our residents.”

The Council is committed to the West Yorkshire Fair Work Charter, paying its apprentice roles the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage, alongside its other employee benefits.

There are also various other early career options available at the Council, including graduate roles and T-Level placements.

The Council uses its apprenticeship levy(external link) to invest in high-quality training, helping to develop a skilled workforce to provide the best possible services to local people. It also transfers some of its apprenticeship levy to support Calderdale businesses to provide apprenticeships (through a ‘levy transfer’ process), helping to grow a sustainable economy and offer inclusive pathways into employment.

The Council’s levy transfer application process is currently open for local businesses looking to provide apprenticeships:

For more information about the Council’s apprenticeship programme, please visit Building talent and resilience through apprenticeships supports the Vision 2024 for Calderdale. April 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday and there are just months to go! Get involved on X with #VisionCdale2024 and find out more at

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