CSA delivers apprenticeship training to Walsall Council
14 September 2020
There are few better champions of apprenticeships than Walsall Council. With some 8,000 employees, it currently has around 400 apprentices at various stages of their career development, watched over by Apprenticeship Programme Lead Helena Baxter.
Having moved over from the private to the public sector, Helena has continued to promote Council-led apprenticeships within schools and the wider business community, as well as developing the skills of existing employees. The programme has proven so popular
that it even has its own brand - Endless Possibilities – which perfectly captures the Council’s commitment to investing in people:
“Few people are aware of the exciting apprenticeship opportunities that exist within a council,” Helena explains. “We’ve recently taken on a Civil Engineering Apprentice, Finance Apprentices, and even a Facilities Management Apprentice who is only 17.
Over half of all of our apprentices work within our Primary Schools, and we actively promote our apprenticeship opportunities in the local community and further afield within the West Midlands’ network.”
When it came to finding an apprenticeship training provider for credit and collections, Helena approached three separate providers before choosing the Credit Services Association,
an Apprenticeships Main Provider on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers: “I was immediately impressed,” Helena says. “Even though
they are based in Newcastle, they came to see us in person to talk through our needs and the apprenticeship training they provided. Apprenticeships are all about employer engagement, and the CSA was very much engaged with us from the start. Their
professionalism shone through.”
The credit and collections apprenticeships are designed for all levels of experience, beginning with the key principles of credit control and working through to an understanding of legislation, regulation and compliance. They equip apprentices with the
practical skills and technical knowledge they need to help their organisations succeed, as well as the personal skills and team working abilities they will need to support their own career development.
And Helena didn’t stop there. She returned to the CSA for a further apprenticeship in regulatory compliance: “We were using a different provider but were having a few issues and so when I learned that the CSA could also deliver a Regulatory Compliance
Officer Apprenticeship, we moved the training across to them.”
The Regulatory Compliance Officer Apprenticeship similarly equips employees with the skills they need to help create a positive and supportive business environment whilst also assuring public and environmental protection. As with the credit and collections
apprenticeship, it uses a blended approach to training to include workshops, e-learning and tutorials, with dedicated mentors and assessors. Helena says that to date, feedback has been excellent from all of her apprentices: “We may be perceived as
a demanding client however we expect our training providers to deliver high quality training and communication is key,” she continues. “The CSA has been fast to respond and always comes back to us quickly on any questions we may have.”
The council is always looking at new apprenticeship opportunities and are currently exploring a new apprenticeship to train a Counter Fraud Investigator: “It was something we were considering just before lockdown and are now looking at again,” she says.
“It’s yet another example of the exciting apprenticeship and career opportunities that exist within the council.”
Learn more about CSA apprenticeships
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