Why become an Apprentice?

Being an apprentice can help your career by providing a combination of real work experience whilst working toward a qualification.  Combining on the job training with study allowing you to earn whilst you earn!

  • you will achieve a nationally recognised qualification
  • further opportunities for progression and development
  • you will be earning whilst you learn
  • opportunities to work independently and within teams
  • it provides you with the opportunity to experience a real working environment.

Finding an Apprenticeship

The main place to search for an apprenticeship is on the National Apprenticeship Service website which will show you the apprenticeship vacancies in your local area or you can search for a specific role.  Our Apprenticeship opportunities appear on the NAS website alongside appearing here.

Here is what some of our Apprentices have to say about their experience of being an Apprentice with Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils.

"After dropping out of sixth form in 2016, I started as an Apprentice in Planning and Enforcement to complete a Level 2 NVQ in Business Administration. This was my first ‘proper job’ and experience of being in the office environment. The NVQ taught me valuable lessons in general office functions, health and safety and the planning process.  By being able to put what I learned into practice in my day-to-day job, it has made me a better worker. With support and help from colleagues I was able to successfully complete my apprenticeship and as a result was offered full-time employment in the Planning Department. Since then the councils have given me the opportunity to complete a ‘Level 3 Apprenticeship BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Town Planning Technical Support’ which I started in December ‘18.  I now have work-release every other month where I spend a week in Chichester studying planning in its depth. This has given me a far greater understanding of various aspects of planning, and meeting lots of other people from across the country also on the course. After completing this course, I will gain a recognised qualification which will make me a qualified Planning Technician and allow me the opportunity to go to University. 

The apprenticeship and working in the office environment have massively improved my communications skills and confidence both in and out of the workplace. It has also opened a career path, which with the councils help and the opportunities they’ve provided I have been able to pursue."

"Working as an Apprentice in Planning meant I took part in a variety of tasks that contributed directly to both my qualification and the productivity of the Planning Team. Planning is an area that is constantly changing, whether in terms of policy and law or the procedures used by the staff involved. Through my experience as a Planning Apprentice I gained confidence in myself and my work, became very good at adapting, and learned a great deal. It can be challenging, but it is also rewarding and builds skills including verbal and written communication, time management and problem solving.

Since completing my Apprenticeship, a year ago, I applied for, and secured a full-time job at Grade 2 with Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils. Since then I have participated in the development of our website, and most recently our Enterprise software. I’m proud of this work, which has all stemmed from joining the team as an Apprentice."


"Despite having not been undertaking my Apprenticeship at Babergh Mid Suffolk District Councils Planning Department for an overly long period of time, so far I believe it has been thoroughly enjoyable and an interesting experience.  Already I have been able to develop my skills in both solo working and customer service, going from somebody who would very rarely want to answer the phone to somebody that is now actively seeking to answer the phones as much as possible in order to supply the best possible service.  Coupled with this I also find my colleagues are always helpful and engaging with me, taking time out of their own work in order to run through new issues that may arise helping me to gain the knowledge on how to further improve my understanding.  Over time more responsibilities have grown, leading to me running reports and calculating statistics for our Department which impact not only our customer service department but also the planning department as an entirety.  Subsequently I never feel as if I’m doing only ‘simple’ tasks that nobody else wishes to partake in and feel like a valuable team member rather than simply a hinderance.

Overall, I look forward to seeing what possibilities it could open for me in the future."


"I was an Apprentice for six months in the Planning Department, which I really enjoyed.  I felt very welcome and happy in my new environment, because I had a good support system behind me, everyone was always willing to help and show me what to do. 

My tutor from Gingernut Training would visit, and my colleagues always allowed me more than enough time to complete and hand back my essays, which was a big help.

After six months in the Planning Department I had the opportunity to be a Grade 2 Planning Support Officer, within my new role I was still able to complete my Apprenticeship.  I’m now finishing my Apprenticeship with Level 1 & 2 Maths, ICT and Business.

My overall experience of being an Apprentice has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and do things like answer the phone and communicate with other people which I’m grateful for as I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do so before. I would recommend being an Apprentice because it shows you what real work life is like at a younger age, and it also gives you so many new opportunities."