Stockport Council apprentices win iDEA Award

Congratulations are in order for the Council's apprentices Erika Siermaszko, Lucy Scragg and Sadie Fallows, who are one of the first in the country to receive a Bronze iDEA award.

Stockport Council apprentices win iDEA Award

Image caption: Stockport Council Associate Project Management apprentices, Lucy Scragg (L) and Erika Siemaszko (R), receive their Bronze iDEA certificates from HRH the Duke of York. Certificates presented by Cllr Dean Fitzpatrick, Cabinet Member for Education, and Alison Cresswell, Head of Participation & Education Services.

The iDEA programme, launched by HRH The Duke of York, is a unique, online vocational programme designed to help people of all ages “badge their brilliance”. Through a number of online tasks, the programme supports participants to develop their digital and enterprise skills and enhancing their chances on the job market.

Erika and Lucy, who joined the Council in December 2017, embarked on the programme to complement their apprenticeships and round out their skillset – which they see as especially important with up to 90% of jobs expected to have a digital element by 2040.

Lucy praises the variety of the website, noting that “there is something to match everyone’s interests and strengths”. Erika was a big sceptical of the programme at first, wondering how it would help her become a better Project Manager, but realised since starting she has “been able to improve my ICT skills that I use every day without realising.”

The pair are now ambassadors for the programme and have been supporting local schools and colleges to access the programme, presenting to Cheadle Hulme High School year 10 students as well as a range of staff from Bramhall, Priestnall and Hazel Grove High Schools, as well as Aquinas College.

Feedback from their audience was enthusiastic, with the majority of Cheadle Hulme High School pupils saying they would recommend the scheme to their friends, recognising the benefits the programme would offer them as they transitioned from education to work. Staff representatives were equally pleased, seeing it as a great opportunity to enrich their students’ CVs.

Dean Fitzpatrick, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, was on hand to present the certificates and said: “The programme is an exciting, interactive way for young people to increase their knowledge in digital and enterprise skills, whilst attempting to combat future unemployment rates by making students more employable.”

If you would like to find out more information about the programme and what it involves, then please contact apprenticeships@stockport.gov.uk or 0161 474 2350.