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Meet our apprentices

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Meet some of the apprentices who work for Ipswich Borough Council:

Aaron's story

Town Planning ApprenticeHello my name is Aaron and I am an Apprentice Town Planning Technician at Ipswich Borough Council. During this two year apprenticeship I am working towards achieving a Level 3 NVQ and a Level 3 BTEC diploma in Planning and Construction in the Built Environment. Once completed, these qualifications will enable me to gain employment as a Planning Technician.

In order to achieve these diplomas, I spend one day, every other week, out of the office studying at Havering College. This involves attending lectures/seminars alongside a group of apprentices from across East Anglia, all studying towards the same qualifications.

I am already five months into my apprenticeship, and am still looking forward to seeing how everything will develop. At work I have been given different duties around the office and contributed to Planning Policy, Development Management and Building Control tasks. This diversity has been a great mix and I’m looking forward to experiencing other aspects of Planning and Building Control in the future.

Since I started my apprenticeship, time has really flown by. So far I have learnt the different stages of the planning process, the areas of planning and recently I have been given the responsibility of validating simple planning applications - with help of course!

Alongside my fellow apprentice here at Ipswich Borough Council, Jake, we have been given an opportunity to follow the construction of a new multi-storey building in Ipswich (Birketts Solicitors) located on Princes Street. Construction is still in the early stages, however, we have already been on two site visits exploring the development of the site and looking at how it can tie in with the topics we are studying at college. The construction of the building is set to last for the entirety of our apprenticeship, so in a way it is the perfect case study for us to follow. We have been taking pictures on site as the project progresses and this should provide an interesting perspective on the development when it is completed.

Next, I will be learning more about development management case progression, sustainable development and urban construction techniques.

I feel that I have grown as a person too, gaining in confidence and improving my communication skills. The job involves customer service skills, such as answering phone enquiries and building professional networks. Additionally before starting the scheme I was not very confident in using Microsoft Office programmes, however, the apprenticeship scheme has supported my development in this area. My work is approximately 60 percent computer based and I have found that my ability in programmes such as Excel and PowerPoint has increased dramatically.

I first read about this apprenticeship online and I kept on returning to it after it caught my interest. I was delighted to be accepted by Ipswich Borough Council. After I applied for the position I was invited to an interview day and the rest, as they say, is history!

Overall I am very glad to have joined this apprenticeship programme as a career in the built environment and the urban development industry is something I am genuinely interested in. Indeed I can see myself here for many more years to come.

Megan's story

My name is Megan and I'm a Financial Services Apprentice with Ipswich Borough Council. The apprenticeship vacancy caught my eye because it was very specific to what I wanted to do and had an extremely varied job description. It also allowed me to study for my AAT qualification during work time which the training provider paid for. The good pay was a bonus!

I am currently working in the management accounting team in corporate support and systems, but will be moving around different teams so I can see what each one involves.

I passed my first exam within two months of working at the Council. I am currently studying for my level 2 AAT qualifications and am hoping to continue onto level 3 and 4. I have also had training in fire safety, health and safety at work and stress at work which will be beneficial to me throughout my working life.

A good thing about my apprenticeship is having paid holidays. As an apprentice I am treated like a regular member of staff so I am entitled to annual leave as well as bank holidays. Another great thing is the team of people I work with. It can be quite nerve-racking going into an unknown environment with people who have much more experience than you, however my colleagues have all been very understanding and supportive.

I would recommend an Ipswich Borough Council apprenticeship to others as it is a great place to work and will open so many doors for the future.

Louis' story

Customer Service ApprenticeI have been a Customer Service apprentice at Ipswich Borough Council for over a year and a half. I pursued an Apprenticeship after leaving college when I decided higher education wasn’t for me. I started off doing my level 2 Business Admin BTEC which I passed before moving on to start my level 3 last October.

Although I work in Customer Services I spend a lot of time elsewhere within the authority, including working with the election team in the run up to important elections such as the EU referendum. My job is so varied and my work is planned in such a way that I get the full experience of working within local government. 

My apprenticeship has enabled me to develop valuable skills all whilst being in a working environment, something I would never have gotten the opportunity to do at university

I now feel fully confident in my surroundings and I’d like to think I have gained a head start on other people my age that will start their careers without the same level of experience as me. As an apprentice I can offer new and differing viewpoints to my colleagues which can sometimes help in challenging situations.

I am grateful for all the support I have received whilst completing my apprenticeship: from my line manager, college tutor, team and colleagues from across the council and I look forward to all the new challenges that will emerge in the future. 

Jessica's story

Hi, I'm Jessica and I'm a Community Safety Apprentice working in a department that deals with a range of subjects, such as substance misuse, parenting, anti-social behaviour, CCTV and HEARS alarm service.

Since I have started my apprenticeship I have taken part in a range of projects, e.g. Ipswich has Got Talent, Best Bar None awards evening, Purple Flag weekend and I am in the process of planning for Crucial Crew. I do general admin jobs such as booking meeting rooms, taking minutes, preparing agendas and documents for meetings, updating the parenting database and doing end of programme reports.

The best part of my job is working with the lovely people in my department. I have really enjoyed working on the projects and getting more involved in each area of Community Safety.

I would recommend an Ipswich Borough Council Apprenticeship to others because working at the council doesn’t always mean sitting at a desk. You can gain a lot of experience and you’re also getting paid while working, which wouldn't happen at college.

Watch our video of Jessica talking about her apprenticeship.

Jake's story

Town Planning Apprentice

Hello my name is Jake and I am an Apprentice Town Planning Technician at Ipswich Borough Council. At the moment, I’m working towards an NVQ Level 3 and a BTEC Level 3 diploma. In order to achieve this I spend one day every other week out of office on a college day. I do this with a group of other Apprentice Planning Technicians across East Anglia.

The apprenticeship course that I’m on lasts for 2 years and I’m already 5 months in. At the end of the two years, I hope to be in a full time Planning Technician role.

So far the time has flown by; I’ve been welcomed in to the team and quickly settled within my role. I and the other Planning Technician Apprentice, Aaron, have been given the opportunity to follow the development of a new building. The building we’ve been observing is the new Birketts building on Princes Street. Although the construction is still in the early stages, we have already been on two site visits observing the structure of the building and the safety of the process. We have also been given access to the plans so we can gauge an idea of what the end product will look like and the different stages required within the construction. The construction of the building is set to last almost the whole duration of our apprenticeship so for us, this was the perfect case to follow.

To aid my growth in the role of a Planning technician, I’ve been doing lots of admin work for building control in recent weeks. This has allowed me to understand the context of what allows work on site to commence. It will be extremely useful down the line to have the experience and understanding of what goes on in the departments that heavily partner Planning.

I first saw the apprenticeship advertised online and it immediately caught my eye. After doing more research into what planning was, I began to really like the idea of having my say and playing a major part in the development of my home town. Needless to say it didn’t take me long to apply for the position. In the upcoming weeks I received an email from IBC inviting me to an interview day. The day was made up of a talk, team building exercises, an insight into a planner’s job and an interview at the end of the day. All in all the day was extremely enjoyable and only increased my interest in the apprenticeship.

Not only have I been learning the ropes as a planning technician apprentice and developing in the role, I’ve also developed a lot personally. This apprenticeship has massively helped my communication skills with others, as you are constantly meeting new people and need to be able to talk to them to get your job done. I’ve also become a lot more competent with computers, before the apprenticeship I wasn’t bad with them, but after working on them day in day out, my skills have really developed.  

Georgie's story

I am a Shared Revenues Partnership Apprentice currently working in the Council Tax Billing section.

I did one year of AS levels then decided that was not for me and that I would prefer to work and gain skills on the job. I found it very hard to find a job straight away as I had no work experience, so I decided to apply for an apprenticeship.

I have three hours every two weeks when I can work on my NVQ. The rest of the time I am working with the team. I have found that this is a very good split of my time and I am able to get a lot of my NVQ done. I have a NVQ assessor who comes and visits every couple of months to see how I am getting on and we try to have a catch up by phone every month as well.

I am gaining lots of new skills as well as improving on the skills that I did have and I like being able to help customers overcome any problems that they have with their Council Tax. Completing my apprenticeship will give me qualifications in IRRV Local Taxation.

I would recommend an Ipswich Borough Council apprenticeship to others as there is a wide range of different sectors that you could work in and you gain good skills that will help you now and in the future.

Lee's story

Hi, my name is Lee and I'm an Apprentice Gardener with Ipswich Borough Council.

I love gardening and had been volunteering at Chantry Park after doing a horticulture course at college. This apprenticeship gave me the chance to learn and qualify at the same time as working in Ipswich’s beautiful parks.

My work involves keeping our parks neat and well maintained throughout the year by weeding, pruning, hedge cutting and mowing.

I enjoy working outside in the fresh air with great colleagues and in beautiful surroundings. It is brilliant seeing the park change throughout the seasons.

I would recommend an Ipswich Borough Council apprenticeship to others because it gives you so much experience and the skills you gain are with you for life.

Watch our video of Lee and his colleague Jack talking about their apprenticeships.

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Contact Details

Human Resources,
Ipswich Borough Council,
2W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 433402