Milestone as 100th apprentice joins MK Council

Monday 3 February 2020

Just ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, Milton Keynes Council has hired its 100th apprentice after a push to give local people more opportunities to find a new career path.

The Council has apprentices working in dozens of teams, from Social Care to Trading Standards, to school-based Occupational Therapists.  Apprentices earn a real living wage while studying for a qualification, learning on the job as well as in the classroom for on average a day each week.                                                

Apprenticeships are for people of any age or level of experience, and MK Council’s current apprentices range from 17 years old to over 60.  Council apprenticeships run from six months to three years with a permanent job typically offered at the end.

MK Council has just appointed its 100th apprentice: Alan Mcilroy is studying for a degree in Building Control Surveying at Wolverhampton University, and has joined the Building Control team.

Alan said: “I’d been at my previous employer for 13 years, and this apprenticeship has allowed me to completely retrain in an area I may otherwise have struggled to move into.”

“My advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship is not to be put off by preconceptions that they’re just for school leavers. They’re a great way to facilitate a career change and are suitable for people of all ages - I’ll be 43 when I finish mine!”

Ellie Lee-Smith, IT apprentice at the Council joined two years ago and trains at MK College.  Ellie said: “I decided to join the programme because it offered a qualification while I could also gain specialist work experience.  It was a little daunting at the beginning but having a team that are understanding and helpful has made me feel welcome and helped me grow my confidence as well as my skills.”

“A lot of employers are now looking for experience over qualifications, so I’d say an apprenticeship is just as valuable as a university based diploma.”

Cllr Rob Middleton, Cabinet Member for Resources and Innovation said: “It’s important that MK Council is waving the flag for apprenticeships because we want Milton Keynes to be a city of opportunity for all.  Apprenticeships can help employers find people with different perspectives who are really committed to using the skills they’re developing. For workers, an apprenticeship can open new doors regardless of your background or experience. 

“If your organisation is growing in Milton Keynes, please do look into apprenticeships. Many Council teams have taken a step in this direction, and it’s paying off with some great colleagues.”

To find out more, follow @Apprenticeships on Twitter and the National Apprenticeship Service on LinkedIn.  Apprenticeships at MK Council are advertised at