Devon County Council - Employer of the Month

Exeter College news article

Date: Thursday 03 May 2018

Devon County Council employ a remarkable number of apprentices, providing new entry level staff the best start to their career and offering existing staff the chance to develop their skills. With opportunities for a career and progression in over twelve apprenticeships, Devon County Council has one of the most impressive apprenticeship programmes in the region and truly is an outstanding employer.

We spoke to Anne Downing, Senior Workforce Development Advisor, to learn more.

How many apprentices do you employ, what do they do and what courses are they on?

Since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy we have employed 86 apprentices, 41 are new employees and 45 are existing employees. Before the levy was introduced we had employed well over 100 new apprentices to DCC, so we have a great track record and getting stronger all the time! At the moment we use the following programmes:-

  • Business and Administration (Level 2, 3 & 4)
  • Customer Service (Level 2)
  • Town Planning Technician (Level 3)
  • Transport Planning Technician (Level 3)
  • Construction and the Built Environment (Level 3)
  • Construction Management: Foundation Degree in Civil Engineering (Level 5 & 6)
  • Assistant Accountant AAT (Leve 3)
  • HR (Level 3 &5)
  • Team Leader / Supervisor
  • Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (Level 3)
  • Supporting the Delivery of Physical Education and School Sport
  • Children and Young People’s Workforce – Early Years Educator (Level 3)

These are constantly growing as new standards are introduced. We are currently working on introducing leadership and management, data analyst and degree level programmes in civil engineering and town planning.

Why do you employ apprentices in your company?

We first started employing apprentices around eleven years ago in an effort to offer quality employment opportunities to the young people of Devon and promote DCC as an employer of choice. We had long realised we could offer amazing opportunities for staff to develop and grow but quickly found the apprentices were making such an impact on the organisation there was a real desire to expand the scheme into other areas. A few years later the civil engineering scheme was launched to complement our existing accredited graduate scheme in that area. This proved a huge success and has paved the way for other technical apprenticeships to be introduced.

How do apprentices add value to your business?

At DCC we view our apprentices as our future professionals. Not only do they receive exceptional support to enable them to grow in their chosen field but also have lots of opportunities to learn about DCC and the diverse range of services we provide to the citizens of Devon. They develop support networks with their peers and also get real responsibility at an early stage in their careers. In return for this investment we get highly motivated and engaged employees who understand the organisation, how it works and want to make a real difference to their communities. Many of our apprentices have now become those professionals we aspired to develop and are moulding and shaping the DCC of the future. I think that’s a real win-win!

What do they bring to your team?

Endless enthusiasm, a passion for learning, new ways of thinking and a can-do attitude!


Devon County Council are recruiting now for apprentices to join in September! Find out more about the wide range of opportunities available here including civil engineering and office support.

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