Somerset County Council signs new agreement to protect apprentices

Somerset County Council Chief Exec and union officials hold A1 sized certificate confirming the council's commitment to a local apprenticeship agreement

Somerset County Council has signed a local apprenticeship agreement with UNISON.

The agreement ensures that apprentices will receive the correct rate for the job they are doing, high quality training, and a safe and healthy working environment.

UNISON South West Regional Secretary Joanne Kaye said: 

“We are delighted the council has decided to sign a local apprenticeship agreement with us, publicly signalling its commitment to structured learning.

“The contribution of apprentices to the workplace is too often overlooked, and unfortunately many young people find themselves exploited, working long hours for low wages, with little support.

“Yet by properly investing in the workforce of tomorrow, employers can nurture talent and help fill the skills gap – and give a boost to the local economy at the same time.

“It’s very welcome that the council views apprenticeships as an investment in its future workforce, rather than a short-term source of cheap labour.

“We hope many other employers in the South West will soon follow their lead.”

Somerset County Council Director of HR & Organisational Development Chris Squire said: 

“I’m delighted to sign the charter with UNISON. We’ve done great things with apprenticeships and this shows a real commitment to work in partnership to develop this further. It’s been great to work with UNISON on this.”