Skills for Work Apprenticeships

Skills for Work is an established training provider and part of Bradford Council. Training is individually designed to meet your needs and is delivered by friendly, helpful staff that will support you throughout your Apprenticeship.

We deliver the following Apprenticeships:

Business Admin Levels 2 and 3

Customer Service Levels 2 and 3

Team Leader/Supervisor Levels 2 and 3

Operations/Departmental Manager Level 5

Public Service Operational Delivery Officer Level 3

For more information call Peter Williams on 01274 433648 or email

Bradford Council Apprenticeships

600 people have started an apprenticeship with Bradford Council

It’s National Apprenticeship Week (3 to 9 February 2020) and we are officially celebrating starting 600 apprentices (Council and schools staff) since the launch of the Government’s apprenticeship levy scheme in 2017.

We are very proud to be able to celebrate supporting over 600 people to gain a qualification through our apprenticeship scheme since April 2017.

The Government’s apprenticeship levy was introduced in April 2017 to increase the number of apprenticeships in large organisations. This includes recruiting new apprentices and up-skilling existing staff, to develop people’s potential for their future employment.  

Apprenticeships are a growing option for people to earn while they learn – an attractive prospect for many – and, as Bradford Council recognises, a vital entry route to gaining skills and behaviours required in the professional sector.  

Most organisations with 250 or more staff in England, including Bradford Council, have a target to employ an average of at least 2.3% of their staff as new apprentice starts over the period of 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021.

Elaine Mallinson is our Senior Learning and Development Academy Officer. She said: “Since the levy came into force, it has given the Council an opportunity to develop the skills and capabilities of existing staff through apprenticeship training and this is essential to retain and build future talent and succession plan.

“More apprenticeship standards are now available and this is a golden opportunity to help grow our own talent and develop a workforce from our local communities. Additionally, the fact that apprenticeships are now available at level 2 (equivalent to GCSEs) to level 7 (masters level qualifications) shows the broad range of opportunities available to our services and the Council as a whole.

“Converting vacancies into apprentices is also assisting the Council to increase its targets to employ younger people (as we are an ageing workforce) as well as our Corporate Parenting Agenda by offering apprenticeship opportunities to our Looked After Children.”

Next we hear from some of the 600 people who have been part of our apprenticeship scheme since April 2017. 

Apprentices can be any age, not just school leavers

Alex Clarke, Apprentice Occupational Safety Technician in the Health and Safety team, said: “I’m working my way through a Level 3 Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Technician apprenticeship after being made redundant from my previous career of over twenty years standing.  

“This apprenticeship is very hands-on and allows me to be directly involved in the design, implementation and review of vital safety practices throughout the Council’s working remit, which is great as I am able to utilise my previous experience at the same time as developing new skills.  My colleagues are incredibly supportive and enabling and the vibe in our team is one of a collective journey.”

Apprenticeships help develop confidence and skills

Jack Pollard, Service Operations Apprentice in IT Services, said: “I started my apprenticeship in January 2019 with no industry knowledge and little confidence. On my first day I was greeted with only the warmest of welcomes and already felt part of the team.  I was first assigned to do some project work and quickly learnt the ropes. I shadowed some very talented individuals and picked up extremely valuable skills and techniques off my colleagues. Throughout the year I have seen these skills develop further and I am now very confident within my role. 

“I have done a wide range of activities during my time here and have learnt to both work independently and as part of an amazing team. I know that the work I do on a day-to-day basis has a positive impact on the organisation and I can see my contributions making a difference. I have been provided with outstanding support from the whole service and would highly recommend the apprenticeship scheme as I feel it has given me valuable experience in the industry. I feel I now have both the skills and knowledge to progress further and achieve my goals.”

Apprenticeships give people experience, qualifications and friendship

Asma Butt – Office of the Chief Executive, Support/Research Assistant, nominated for Apprentice learner of the year 2018, said “Completing my apprenticeship has been really beneficial for me as it has not only helped me secure a permanent position as a support/research assistant to the chief executive but also was a great way to build my confidence working in this office. My favourite part of the apprenticeship was completing the workshops as I got the opportunity to relate with others completing similar apprenticeships and build friendships every week. I would highly recommend anyone to do an apprenticeship, as even if you aren’t able to go on to get a permanent job you are still able to walk away with a qualification and the experience you have gained.

“With regards to the misconceptions about apprenticeships being  ‘just employed to make the tea’ there are certain aspects of the job where you are required to undertake less interesting tasks, however it’s all a part of the job and isn’t always the case but all forms part of your experience!

“Also very grateful to be working for the chief executive as I got the opportunity to meet the royals!! Which was definitely my highlight to date, but in general, I am able to be a part of working with some great people on a daily basis and also very lucky to have the best manager who has helped me so much and still is! (shout out to Seema!).”

Apprentices win awards to boost their sense of achievement

Matthew Hayes is an apprentice plumber and was named Apprentice of the Year winner at our Built Environment Construction Awards in September 2019. This award recognises qualities and achievements including improvement, effort, work ethic, quality of work, attitude and portfolio. 

Matthew said: “I feel blessed.  Having an apprenticeship with the Council (and particularly within The Built Environment’s Projects Team) has given me plenty of opportunities to train and learn skills that I may not have had a chance to learn otherwise.  The quality of the training is such that I feel confident it will open up many more doors for me in the future.” 

Benefits of the Apprenticeship Program

Hello my name is Joseph Robinson and I am the Service Improvement Apprentice for Skills for Work. I am currently working towards an Award in Business Administration Level 3. I have been in my current role for almost a year and I would like to share my experience with you. This apprenticeship has given me an opportunity to work with experienced practitioners who have been able to support me every step of the way. I have learnt to liaise with customers from all backgrounds and all walks of life.  This apprenticeship has rewarded me with an increase in responsibility; I now monitor our organisation’s waiting list and have completed a tracking project which has contributed to an increase in business for our family learning services. I would recommend an apprenticeship for anyone who wants to earn a living and build their skills whilst working towards an accredited qualification.   

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge

Bradford Libraries Rhyme challenge

Get singing, get rhyming, get talking, get reading…

The Rhyme Challenge is a fun way to introduce children and families to rhymes. Rhymes may be new to families or forgotten, and they require help to build up confidence to have a go themselves.

Young children learn best through seeing someone they know well doing things, and through repetition.

Rhymes can be shared almost anywhere – in the car or bus, the bath, in the supermarket. You can use rhymes during less popular activities to encourage children, for example, tidy up time, nappy changing, going to bed.

Latest news

Welcome to this year’s Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge. If you are a parent, why not join in with the challenge at a library near you – see dates below.

Burley Library – 1.45pm on Tuesday 7, 14, 21 January and 4 February
Wyke Library – 2pm on Tuesday 7, 14, 21, 28 January
Wrose Library – 10.45am on Saturday 11, 25 January and 8, 22 February
Menston Library – 10.30am on Saturday 11, 25 January and 8, 22 February
Bingley Library – 10.30am on Tuesday 14, 21, 28 January and 4 February
City Library – 10am on Wednesday 15, 22, 29 January and 5 February
Ilkley Library – 10.30am on Saturday 18, 25 January and 1, 8 February
Eccleshill Library – 2pm on Monday 20, 27 January and 3, 10 February
Shipley Library – Toddlers 10am on Wednesday 22, 29 January and 5, 12 February
Shipley Library – Babies 10.45am on Wednesday 22, 29 January and 5, 12 February
Holme Wood Library – 10am on Friday 24, 31 January and 7, 14 February
Wibsey Library – 2pm on Thursday 30 January and 6, 13, 27 February
Baildon Library – 2.30pm on Thursday 30 January and 6, 13, 27 February
Manningham Library – 2.30pm on Thursday 6, 13, 20 February and 5 March
Clayton Library – 10am on Thursday 6, 13, 27 February and 5 March
Thornton Library – 11am on Wednesday 12, 26 February and 4, 11 March
Laisterdyke Library – 9.30am on Tuesday 18. 25 February and 3, 10 March
Idle Library – 2pm on Monday 2, 9, 16, 23 March
Keighley Library – 11am on Saturday 29 Feb, 7, 14, 21 March
Great Horton Library – 11am on Wednesday 4, 11, 18, 25 March

You can also take the challenge at a local toddler group or nursery between September 2019 and March 2020.

If you are an Early Years Setting and want a pack please contact

If you wish to complete the challenge without the pack – just download the Rhyme Challenge Instructions below.

Want to hear the Rhymes? Watch YouTube videos of each rhyme.  

There are also some crafts available, to go with the rhymes. You can view pictures of the crafts below:

The benefits of rhymes

  • Rhymes are often repetitive and make the words easier to learn, especially when they are sung.
  • They are a fun way for a child to acquire language skills and great building blocks for future learning.
  • Most rhymes involve some physical interaction, which adds fun, surprise and anticipation.
  • They give children a sense of story with a beginning, middle and end and an awareness of sounds.
  • Rhymes introduce numbers, colours, shapes, animals, parts of the body etc.
  • Help develop concentration and listening skills.
  • They help parents to overcome feeling shy or awkward when talking to very young children.
  • Help parents and carers realise how important they are as their child’s first teacher.
  • Sharing rhymes help bonding and togetherness between children and parents and carers.

More info on

Learner Celebration Event

Today (06/11/19) we are hosting a learner celebration Event at Kala Sangam, St Peters House, Bradford.

Learners have worked hard to achieve their qualifications and we want this to be recognised. This year we have seen some fantastic progress and achievements.  We continue to be good provider with Ofsted delivering quality teaching & learning.

There will also be the opportunity for learners to collect their certificate on the day.  We have evaluated and summarised all the courses delivered in schools,  so attendees can read the wonderful comments from our learners.  There are also areas that can be improved with your discussion and support.

We would like to thank you for all your effort, hard work and continued support.

Family Learning and Adult Skills Services

Bradford Family Learning Festival 2019

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Festival Highlights

The Festival is full of FREE amazing activities which take place just before and throughout half term in venues across the district. To find out more contact your local venue. All activities are for parents and children to take part in together.


Retro Gaming Experience

Does your dad remember Donkey Kong?
Did grandma play Pac Man?

Come along and play the games they used to play at our Retro Gaming Experience. All ages welcome!

City Library, free, drop in

Super Saturday 26 October, 12noon – 4pm
Super Saturday 2 November, 12noon – 4pm


Books Around The World competition

Win brand new children’s books! Take a photo using the theme “Books Around The World” and upload it to the family learning festival facebook page:

We will direct message the winner.

Prizes for creativity and innovation.


Around The World Super Saturdays

We’re going around the world at City Library for Family Learning Week. Take a trip with Julia Donaldson’s book The Snail & The Whale. Make storytelling wheels. Be part of our round the world retro gaming experience. Build oodles of Lego/Duplo with Bricks4Kidz. Help to create a giant Globe on the windows of City Library! Creative face painting also available!

City Library, free, drop in

Super Saturday 26 October, 11am – 3pm
Super Saturday 2 November, 11am – 3pm



Build your own city around the world with Bricks4Kidz. There will be oodles of Duplo and Lego to enjoy, the only limit is your imagination!

City Library, free, drop in

Super Saturday 26 October, 12noon – 4pm
Super Saturday 2 November, 12noon – 4pm


Jack & The Flum Flum Tree

Meet the characters, build a boat, become the crew and solve problems along the way using items from Granny’s patchwork sack. Explore the book with Mud Pie Arts. Use your imagination, work as a team, advise Jack and extend the story.

Free, suitable for 3-6 years. Booking is essential. Friday 1 November

Holme Wood Library – 10am
Wyke Library – 1pm


Read Around The World with Marcelo Mouse at Wyke Library

Listen to the story in your own aeroplane box and then make a fantastic 3D world mobile craft. Take home your reading passport and read the books based around the world to win your very own “Reading Around The World” certificate.

Free, drop in

Tuesday 29 October, Wyke Library, 2pm


The Snail & The Whale stories and story wheel making workshop

Listen to the story and then make a great story wheel for hours of storytime fun!

Free, drop in

Tues 22 Oct, Burley Library, 1.45pm & 3.30pm
Mon 28 Oct, Baildon Library, 3.45pm
Tues 29 Oct, Shipley Library, 2pm
Weds 30 Oct, Keighley Library, 11am – 11.45am
Weds 30 Oct, Thornton Library, 11am – 12noon
Weds 30 Oct, Manningham Library, 2pm – 3pm
Thurs 31 Oct, Bingley Library, 10am
Thurs 31 Oct, Heaton Hub Library, 10am – 12noon
Thurs 31 Oct, Wibsey Library, 2pm
Thurs 31 Oct, Laisterdyke Library, 2.30pm
Thurs 31 Oct, Menston Library, 3.30pm
Sat 2 Nov, Wrose Library, 10am – 11.45am
Sat 2 Nov, Queensbury Library, 10.30am
Sat 2 Nov, Great Horton Library, 1pm – 3pm Register for a place at the library. Ages 4-8 years
Mon 4 Nov, Idle Library, 2pm – 3pm
Weds 6 Nov, Silsden Library, 1.30pm – 2.30pm


Here to There: Travel to and from Bradford across the ages

Fun for all the family exploring how we got here! Whether on the bus, by bike, on foot or a journey your grandparents made long ago to find work or safety or both — let’s play with ideas and create a map of Bradford across time together.

Free, drop in, suitable for all ages

Wednesday 30 October, 1pm – 4pm

Peace Around the World!

Come and join us at The Peace Museum to discover peace all around the world through our exhibitions! Take a trail through our galleries finding out about peace in different countries. Create your own badge. Under 5’s colouring.

Please note the museum is located up 60 steps with no lift. Staff can help with pushchairs.

The Peace Museum, free, drop in, all welcome Wednesday 30 October, 10am — 4pm

Thursday 31 October, 10am – 4pm
Friday 1 November, 10am – 4pm


The Big Draw Family Drop In: The World’s Biggest Community of Drawing Enthusiasts

This is a great year to draw your community together, draw, explore, get out and about, kick start a new creative you and be part of the world’s biggest community of drawing enthusiasts!

Join Musarat Raza, artist, as she makes Halloween hats and masks. Use the Young Open 2019 exhibition as inspiration and create your own spookiness.

Cartwright Hall Gallery, free event
Thursday 31 October, 11am — 3pm
Suggested donation of £2 per person


Farmageddon Fun

When the intergalactic visitor – an impish and adorable alien called LU-LA – crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun soon sees an opportunity for alien-powered fun and adventure and sets off on a mission to shepherd LU-LA home…

This October Half Term flock to the National Science and Media Museum for a host of free activities inspired by A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, the latest feature film from Aardman & Studiocanal, in cinemas from October 18.

In addition to watching the film*, budding animators can get loads of behind-the-scenes tips and tricks, as well as make character models with the help of experts from Aardman.

Free activities for all ages.

Sat 26 October — Sun 3 November

Some events will require tickets in advance. Book ahead and plan your visit at

*Usual cinema charges apply.


Bradford and Me!

Come and take part in Bradford and Me! And get creative by sharing your stories of Bradford in our special sticker and postcard making workshop. This event is inspired by our exhibition Borderland: Stories from Donbas by Christopher Nunn, which shows photographs of everyday life in Ukraine.

Impressions Gallery, free, drop in

Saturday 19 October 10.30am – 4pm
Wednesday 23 October 10.30am –  4pm


Crafting Around The World at the Library

Come join us for out of this world messy play activities. A range of creative making activities involving colouring, sticking, cutting and gluing to inspire families to get creative and have fun.

FREE Face painting during the day.

City Library, free, drop in
Super Saturday 26 October, 11am – 3pm
Wednesday 30 October 12noon – 3pm
Super Saturday 2 November, 11am – 3pm

City Library 01274 433600 email:

Family Learning and Adult Skills 01274 433648 email:

The Peace Museum 01274 780241

National Science and Media Museum 0844 856 3797

Artwork Creative Communities at Delius Arts & Cultural Centre 01274 256919

Cartwright Hall Art Gallery 01274 431212

Impressions Gallery 01274 737843

Parents or Carers must come with children and be prepared to join in — it is Family Learning after all!

Download the full programme here

Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge

Good afternoon everyone

 Is your setting ready for the latest Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge?

 Great rhymers make great readers and the Rhyme Challenge is an excellent way for children and parents to take part in an informal learning opportunity whilst having lots of fun too. All they have to do is learn the five nursery rhymes in the pack. It is suitable for pre-school, nursery and reception age children.

 How you do the challenge is up to you – settings usually invite parents in for five sessions to learn the rhymes with their children, but you can use the method which works best for you. Whichever you choose it is important that families complete the feedback sheets in the pack at the end of the challenge as we need these to secure future funding.

 Each pack contains full instructions and enough resources for 30 families, including rhyme sheets and completion certificates. It is fine to photocopy any part of the pack if you need more sheets, or if you have a lot of families please ask for an extra pack.

 And parents who bring their completed Rhyme Challenge certificate into their local library and enrol their child as a member (or show their child’s library card) can enter a prize draw to win individual or group prizes!

 We shall be sending out packs on a first come first served basis – so if your setting would like to do the challenge, please get in touch as soon as possible.  If you are able to collect your packs from your local library, we would be happy to arrange it – just let me know which one.

If you have any queries please get in touch

Susan Brewster-Craig

Bradford Libraries

Libraries & Museums Tel:  01274 433684