London Borough of BexleyApprenticeship ProgrammeSince 1991 The London Borough of Bexley have helped over 250 young people bridge the gap betweeneducation and employment. Placements have been offered across every Directorate in Bexley andcurrently we offer apprenticeships in 4 vocational areas: • Business Administration • Customer Service • ICT • Childcare Learning and DevelopmentBexley’s vision for the future is to extend these 4 areas to include Accountancy, Building Control,Environmental Health, Youth Work, Health & Social Care and Horticulture.A fully recognised apprenticeship programme means individuals spend 4 days per week in a work-based placement and attend college one day per week gaining the underpinning knowledge to achievea vocational qualification in the chosen area.Our programme is well structured; learners are placed in fully supervised roles where they will performlive work experience in a variety of areas. Our placement coordinator provides on-going support toeach apprentice. A mentoring/buddy scheme was introduced at the beginning of 2009 to ease learnersthrough the transition of education to employment.However, we are not complacent and we are always happy to further develop our local scheme usingvaluable feedback from our apprentices and placement managers.The scheme has senior level commitment across the organisation to ensure that it works well, not onlyfor us as an organisation, but in fulfilling the needs of our young people in Bexley. Thank you forconsidering the London Borough of Bexley as a possible placement opportunity.About the London Borough of BexleyThe London Borough of Bexley is a high performing authority that has consistently achieved the toprating on the Comprehensive Performance Assessment. The Council’s successes have also beenrecognised by numerous awards and accreditations. These include seven Beacon Council awards forexcellence and innovation in a range of service areas, four Charter Mark awards for excellence in publicservice and a number of ISO accreditations for standards in quality management systems. We areproud of the achievements of the London Borough of Bexley and hope that you will want to be part ofour success.Bexley is an outer London borough which borders Greenwich to the west, the county of Kent to the eastand Bromley to the south. Covering an area of 61 square kilometres, it has a diverse population of223,300. Bexley consists of a number of neighbourhood areas such as Belvedere, Thamesmead, Erith,Sidcup, Bexleyheath and Bexley. Within its boundaries are award-winning parks and open spaces,historic houses and attractive waterways. The River Thames runs along the Borough boundary for fivemiles to the north and we are a core part of the Thames Gateway.We have some of the most affordable housing in London, good schools and diverse neighbourhoodsranging from the urban to the rural. Bexleyheath is one of south London’s most successful and livelytown centres and we have a number of smaller thriving centres. We have easy access to the facilities ofcentral London, to major shopping centres at Bluewater and Lakeside and to the beauty of rural Kent, aswell as the international rail terminals at Ebbsfleet and Ashford, the Channel Ports and Tunnel.Bexley is a borough of sharp contrasts which makes it an exciting and rewarding place to work. Forexample,n 80% of our residents are home owners but a significant minority remain in need of affordable,rented accommodation.n Our average house price of £238,000 is close to the average of England and Wales, but wellbelow the London-wide average of £317,000.n Until the recent economic downturn, our economy thrived and was characterised by lowunemployment. However, fewer residents are employed in professional and managerial occupationsthan the national average.n We are ideally located for national and international travel, but remain one of the few Londonboroughs without a tube or light rail transport link.Bexley is a high performing borough. For the first time in 2009, the Audit Commission teamed up withother inspectorates to present an overall picture of public services in Bexley. The new ‘Comprehensive
Area Assessment’ differs from previous assessment regimes in focussing on how Bexley’s publicservices are working together to make a real difference to improving the lives of local people.Bexley was awarded a green flag for its major achievements and innovation in working with localcommunities to increase recycling - the only Borough in London to receive an award in this category.The Inspectorates were particularly impressed with the Councils exceptional track record in gettingpeople to recycle, especially those who find it difficult to do so and need help. This includes working witharound 2,500 elderly and disabled residents to find a way of recycling that works for them and helpingpeople who do not use English as their first language.In addition to the Area Assessment, the Council was also assessed by the Audit Commission on their‘use of resources’ and ‘managing performance’. The Council was judged as an organisation that isperforming well, and was awarded a score of 3 out of 4 for both areas. Many of its services were alsorecognised as being among the best 25% for London and still improving.What kind of projects can we offer?Below are a few examples of the projects covered by our apprentices during their placements withBexleyLeah Saunders – Level 3 apprentice in business administrationThe idea of learning whilst earning appealed to me and since joining Resourcesplus I have been working with the Jobnet Project, which is helping theunemployed people for 9 months or longer and live within the 5 Boroughs that wework with. These are Bexley, Lewisham, Havering, Redbridge and Barking andDagenham. At the beginning of this year, we had a new project come on boardcalled Community Gold, this helps the 12 months or more unemployed to get help,support and training to help them get back into work. My roles have included all forms ofcommunication, administration, ICT and some basic accounting figures. “I hope to do well, it’s a greatopportunity which I feel I am lucky to have been given and I see this as just the beginning.”Josh Harris – Level 2 apprentice in ICT Joining the apprenticeship scheme has been a challenging and rewarding experience for me so far. I have learnt many new office skills and developed key communication skills that are vital for working in a big company. My placement in the Web team has allowed me to use my knowledge of IT systems to help improve our Internet and Intranet systems to provide a better service to the public and the employees of the Council. My supervisor has shown a lot of confidence in me and has handed over major projects from top members of the Council for me to take charge off such as the Chief Executives blog and a Members portal for theCouncillors, which have given me a chance to show what I am capable of. These projects turned out tobe a great success, albeit stressful at times, but the support from my colleagues and supervisor helpedme to achieve what needed to be done.Luke Redpath – Level 2 apprentice in Customer ServiceWhen I saw this work based learning scheme, I knew it would be ideal for me becauseit was a customer services placement. Being naturally bubbly and people-friendly aplacement in one of Bexley libraries suited me perfectly.Since being on the scheme I have received some very valuable training - ComputerLiteracy and Information Technology training which led to a formal qualification. Thishelped me to improve my knowledge of computers and IT. Disability Awarenesstraining - this allowed me to see how actions and words can be misconstrued asdiscriminating, it also allowed me to get some idea of what it is like to live with adisability which I found very useful.Charlotte Moriarty – Level 2 apprentice in Customer Service I am very much enjoying combining learning whilst earning and this scheme is opening my eyes as to what the working world is like. I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity of working towards a formal qualification (NVQ Level 2 in customer service) whilst achieving good work experience. This will help me move up in my career.
Danni Powell (Level 3 Apprentice in Childcare, Learning and DevelopmentI joined the scheme in September 2008. I was lucky to secure a placement at Pearswood PrimarySchool whereby I have spent lots of time in the nursery, reception and year 1 classes. I have workedwith a variety of groups of pupils helping them with their reading, writing and creative projects. I haveaccompanied them on school trips and worked with them in Christmas nativities. I have now progressedonto a level 3 apprenticeship whereby I am being further challenged in my role.Quote from a placement manager …“We are delighted to be helping to develop young talent in the Borough. As a service that often has todevelop programmes and messages aimed at our younger residents there is nothing better than havinga young person contribute to this work, or indeed, produce it”.Kevin TaylorHead of Neighbourhood ServicesFacts/Figures and a few of our success stories • Over 135 young people who secured a placement with the Council have achieved a fully recognised level 2 qualification since 2003. • Approximately 24% of level 2 learners progressed onto a level 3 apprenticeship • 22% are currently still employees of the organisation • In 2008 one of our learners won the national “learner of the year” award • A mentoring scheme was attached to the programme to help ease the transition of education and employment for new recruits to the scheme • Ex-apprentices are now in careers such as: nursing, teaching, police force, fire service, journalism, retail and the food industryOur Benefits PackageBelow are just some of the benefits that we can offer you when you come to Bexley:n Starting training allowance of £100 pw (current allowance scales)n full support and guidance whilst on the schemen all training costs met by the organisationn apprentices can apply for all normal employee benefitsn Local authority discount scheme providing discounts to staff on a range of specially selectedgoods and servicesFor further information on Bexleys Apprenticeship Scheme please contact Cheryl Jones, ApprenticeshipConsultant on 020 8836 8095 or email Cheryl.firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Council’s Mission and PrioritiesMission statementThe Council has agreed a mission statement as follows:Listening to you, Working for you, Delivering Value – Bexley FirstThis mission statement reflects the aspirations of elected members to respond to and deliver for localresidents, and the importance placed on efficiency and delivering value for money in all that we do. Italso reflects the aspirations of the Council to be at the forefront of the way modern councils deliverservices, and to increase the profile and recognition that Bexley receives locally, regionally andnationally for the way that it serves its residents.Key PrioritiesBexley remains focused on continuous improvement. The ‘Transformation Strategy to 2014’ now beingdeveloped by the Council aims to implement a ‘one Council’ vision under which all of the Council’sresources and people will work together in a creative and imaginative effort to achieve the Council’sagreed priorities.Four strategic themes underpin this strategy -n Business Transformation,n Transforming Procurement,n Maximising Income andn Value for Money.Core ValuesThe Council has also defined the core values that it wishes to embrace in the way it delivers services toresidents. A major programme of cultural change will support the adoption of these values.Innovation
We are committed to continually improving what we do and the services we provide. We actively seekways of improving efficiency and reducing costs. This means continual change, taking calculated risksand unlimited opportunity for learning.Listening and RespondingWe encourage everyone to participate in discussion and we actively seek out views. We encouragedebate and challenge.Once we have listened and taken those views into account, we make a decision and act upon it. Werespect the final decision and suspend any individual cynicism.Open and AccessibleWe believe in openness in all of our dealings with every facet of our diverse community - this meanscommunicating bad news as well as good. This helps to create trust and integrity, as you know whereyou stand with us.LeadershipWe are proud of Bexley. We seek out opportunities to promote our achievements and engage others tocommit to our mission, values and objectives.PartnershipWe work together with mutual respect. Only by sharing ideas, identifying the best and takingresponsibility for delivering will we achieve our objectives.How the Council is organisedA New organisational structure was implemented on 1 April 2009. The revised structure will ensure thatthe Council is able to deliver what is required in the future and enhance its ability to deliver objectives.Services will be organised and delivered through 6 Directorates:n Chief Executiven Children’s and Young People’s Servicesn Customer Servicesn Environment and Regeneration Servicesn Financen Social and Community ServicesDetails of the services detailed in each area are set out at www.bexley.gov.uk/service/service.htmlBexley FirstThe Council has embarked on a major programme ofchange under the title Bexley First.The aim of Bexley First is to improvethe Council’s efficiency and delivery of services to local people, putting Bexley at the forefront of the waymoderncouncils operate.The programme’s aims are:n Effective delivery of services to customersn Consolidation of staff onto a single siten Improved and modern facilitiesn Reduction in the Council’s running costsn Introduction of more efficient waysof workingn To invigorate and energise the CouncilA programme that sees staff changingthe way they work, introducing modern flexible ways of working and making best use of technology, isalready wellunder way.By the end of February 2010 around 1,200 Council employees had been set up to work from home as ifin the office, using laptops and their home broadband.Planned for the future is a move for staff from the Bexleyheath Civic Offices to temporaryaccommodation to allow the site to be redeveloped with a more economical central civic office.Further informationabout theBexley First Programmeis available at www.bexley.gov.uk/bexleyfirstPeople in BexleyBexley employs approximately 8,032 staff. Many servicesare provided by the Council’s partner organisations.
For example, residential and other services for older people, for people with learning disabilities, homecare services and support for people with physical disabilities, are all delivered by staff employed bypartners.We believe that there is a strong link between the delivery of high quality services and the retention anddevelopment of a skilled, flexible and well motivated workforce. Our staff development and appraisalprocesses reinforce our core values as well as providing the framework for recognising potential andrewarding staff for their part in the achievements of the Council’s objectives and plans.We were re-accredited with the Investors in People standard in April 2008, which reflects the Council’scommitment to improving performance through the development of its workforce at all levels.We seek to provide a supportive working environment for staff based on clear policies and procedures(including flexible and remote working), excellent engagement and communication with staff, well-established appraisal and performance management systems and effective team work, networks andsupport groups. This is embraced in our Valuing Diversity Policy.Equality and diversityLondon Borough of Bexley is committed to equality and diversity in employment practice and servicedelivery. The Council intends to achieve all its targets in respect of the equalities agenda and becomerecognised as a leader on equalities.What the Council is doingThe Council is developing policies, procedures and equalities schemes supported by action plans topromote equality and prevent discrimination on the grounds of disability, ethnicity and gender and morerecently on age, religion or belief and sexual orientation. A range of innovative processes are in place todeliver equality outcomes for the workforce and create a workplace culture that enables all staff to feelvalued.Progress against the Council’s Equality Schemes are monitored Quarterly with a regular review ofpriorities in order to achieve improvements. In September 2009, Bexley achieved Level 4 under theEqualities Standard for Local Government and through implementation of the Corporate Equality ActionPlan, strives towards excellence.