Read the success stories of some of our apprentices at the Council.

NNDC's Chantelle Holt wins Local Government Apprentice of the Year

Chantelle Holt works as a Revenues Officer at NNDC and has previously completed a Level 3 apprenticeship in Business Administration.

Testimonials from our former apprentices

When I started at NNDC as an apprentice, I had only worked part-time waitressing, bartending and lifeguarding. I had no experience working in an office, but luckily, everyone was so friendly and helpful that I settled in fast. I loved working as part of a team learning on the job, and getting paid.

The best part career-wise is that the skills you learn are generic and transferable, so if, like me, you want to develop your skills in a particular area, there are opportunities to do so. After completing my NVQs, I was able to use these skills to move into other departments working as a Help and Advice Team Visiting Officer and as a Customer Services Advisor where I gained further experience working in local government.

I had a career break whilst having children and applied for a Benefits Officer role, returning in March this year. Working for NNDC as a working mum with young children, I have the benefits of working part-time, with flexible hours and the option of working from home, which helps with getting back to work after having children.

Suzanne Howes
Benefits Officer
(Apprentice 2001 to 2002)

I completed an NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration as part of my apprenticeship. I already had a degree, so doing an apprenticeship was the flip side of how I’d completed my career training so far. From my experience, the education system pushes you into the education-based progression. However, I can say with certainty that if I hadn’t completed my apprenticeship, I would not be in the current position, so an apprenticeship is worth exploring as an option.

Doing an apprenticeship means that you can approach future employers with experience to match your qualifications. I graduated from university with little experience, making it hard to find a career in a field similar to my degree.

"Completing the apprenticeship meant that I gained the same level of peer support as a typical new starter, did the actual job for the duration of my apprenticeship and finished with a qualification and the experience that allowed me to move into a permanent position.

Nicola Wray
Benefits Quality Assurance and Subsidy Officer
(Apprentice 2016 to 2017)

I became a Benefits Officer Apprentice in 2017. When I started, I had no qualifications and only had experience in roles such as cleaning and restaurant work. I was 29 when I became an apprentice, not knowing that apprenticeships are for all ages.

Completing the apprenticeship scheme, I now have the equivalent of a GCSE grade A in English, Maths and IT, as well as a diploma in Business and Administration. I achieved all of this whilst learning benefits and benefit regulations. NNDC allowed me to set aside time within my working day to study and work on my assignments which enabled me to dedicate my free time to my family.

I went on to gain a full-time position in the Benefits department. I have worked in the Benefits department at NNDC for nearly five years.

I’m very grateful for the opportunity and am proud of my achievements. I highly recommend taking on an apprenticeship regardless of your age or experience.

Maz Rayner
Benefits Officer
(Apprentice 2017 to 2019)

I enrolled on an NNDC apprentice program, having had no experience in Benefits. Throughout the one-year apprenticeship, I earned and learned in an understanding and supportive environment, which most importantly gave me the time needed to complete the program.

I was given the perfect blend of apprenticeship and Benefit officer work throughout the year, which allowed me to transfer the knowledge and skills obtained in the apprenticeship to my everyday work.

The apprenticeship also allowed me to bridge any gaps in my qualification portfolio, which was IT. This training was all paid for whilst on the scheme and gave me something I can carry forward to other roles outside of NNDC.

I have worked for NNDC for six years, working in benefits for most of those, and recently have started a new career path as a Link Worker in Social Prescribing. I would encourage anyone wishing to create a local government career to consider an apprenticeship as a starting point.

Harvey Smith
Link Worker - Social Prescribing
(Apprentice 2018 to 2019)

I started my Business and Administration apprenticeship at the council in March 2022. In the last few months, I have learnt so much, from administering and assessing benefits to customer service and managing a business. Once completed, I will gain a lifelong qualification that I can take with me as it is relevant to whatever I wish to do. I have had so much support from my mentors and team. I have one day a week for my studies, so I can do it all at the office, where I am paid to learn!

When I started, I was offered an 18-month contract. However, I have been fortunate enough, like many other previous apprentices, to have gained a permanent contract at the council with the ability to complete my apprenticeship.

I would recommend an apprenticeship here at the council, as you are not only getting paid to learn, you are becoming part of a fantastic team where you can gain on-the-job experience and earn a qualification at the end.

Becky Todd
Benefits Officer
(Apprentice 2022 to current)

I would highly recommend taking up an apprenticeship at NNDC to anyone. I am now 12 months into my 18-month HR apprenticeship and cannot praise highly enough the amount of training, support and development opportunities I have been given both within my team and the Council as a whole.

Taking on an apprenticeship means you are learning on the job, this experience is invaluable and something you wouldn’t get from studying alone. Many professions require a qualification and getting that through an apprenticeship means you are combining the technical knowledge of studying with the practical ‘hands on’ experience that can only be taught by doing the job”

Keri Leggett
Human Resources Apprentice

I would encourage anyone who is thinking of applying for a job here, especially for an Apprenticeship post, to go for it. I find the general working atmosphere and staff morale to be extremely positive and it is a genuinely friendly place to work. I have received a huge amount of support and encouragement from the team I directly work with and from colleagues all around the organisation, which I feel has massively contributed to me achieving success in my qualifications. I am excited for where my qualifications gained at NNDC will lead me to in my career.

Hollie Beattie
Assistant Technical Officer

I worked as a Business Administration Apprentice for the HR and Accountancy teams for over a year. I gained a great deal of experience about the world of work and I am now an Accountancy Assistant with the Finance team under a permanent contract.

James Moore
Accountancy Assistant