Youth Panel members shape Manchester City Council apprenticeship provision

Greater Manchester Talent Match Youth Panel member, Nicola Jacques, has been offered a six-month work experience placement with Manchester City Council.

This follows her and fellow Youth Panel member Sara Isherwood’s work in improving the accessibility of the council’s apprenticeship vacancies to people with disabilities.

Nicola and Sara used their own experiences of being disabled to look at how the Work and Skills Team could improve their communication strategy with disability in mind. Their recommendations are now being used to revise the way the Council recruits apprentices.

Nicola began her six-month placement in February. I was really excited and nervous when I was offered the placement,” she said. “The people I work with are very nice and I know I can always ask for help if I need to. It’s good fun too.

“My placement finishes in August and soon there are going to be apprenticeship vacancies in the Town Hall, so I’d love to do that, but if I don’t get it, I’ll still have this to put on my CV. It’s been a brilliant experience!”

Pamela Williams, Work & Skills Officer at Manchester City Council, said: “Some support agencies had told us [Manchester City Council] they didn’t think we could put extra support in place for applicants with disabilities, so they didn’t put their clients forward for Apprenticeships. We realised then that we needed to improve how we communicate the opportunities and support services we have available.”

“Nicola was so well organised and enthusiastic,” says Pamela. “Her own experiences made her perfect to review our systems and see where the council could improve its offer to future disabled employees. She has now commenced a six month work placement within the Data Governance Team, where she is thriving and offering valuable support to the team.”

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