Recognition for Council Environmental Staff

Recognition for Council Environmental Staff  
Date Published:

Twenty employees from Northumberland County Council who have successfully completed their Apprenticeship with Northumberland College were presented with their certificates at a special presentation in the Council Chamber at County Hall in Morpeth.

The employees who work in a range of cleaning, environmental and horticultural throughout North Northumberland, were already employed by the council when they started their Apprenticeship.

Aged between 30 and 64 years old these local environmental services and cleansing support services apprentices all live and work in the Berwick area, providing excellent local services to their community.  

To help the apprentices successfully balance their work commitments and the learning and development requirements of the programme Northumberland College worked with Northumberland County Council to develop a block release programme.  This ensured that learning took place at the most appropriate time and location for all involved.

Twelve apprentices followed the Environmental Services framework; the remaining eight completed the Cleaning and Support route.

Course tutor, Hannah Coxon, from Northumberland College said: "These students were highly motivated, a pleasure to teach and very skilled operatives. We are delighted with their success. They really embraced the learning opportunity and as a result the group achieved a 100% success rate."

Andy Rutherford, head of highways and neighbourhood services at Northumberland County Council said: "Our workforce is our most valuable resource and recognising and awarding them with qualifications in the work they are doing is a very good investment in both time and boosting moral.

"We would recommend the Apprenticeship route not only to delegates but also other employers as the benefits are there for both parties. We will be looking for the next cohort of employees who could benefit from programmes like this."

Claire Larson, Business Development Officer at Northumberland College said: "This is a fantastic example of how one business has used the Apprenticeship programme to train and up-skill current members of staff.

"Apprenticeships are not just for new members of staff, existing staff can easily start an Apprenticeship programme if they wish to gain a qualification in their line of work. The business benefits from a motivated and up-skilled workforce and employees gain recognised qualifications whilst avoiding course fees."

To find out more about training opportunities available to businesses contact the college's Business Development Team on 01670 841 268 or email

Northumberland College offers Apprenticeships in over 40 different subjects and works with over 700 employers across the region in a wide range of industry sectors. To find out more visit