The hunt is on for the next wave of apprentices at Hounslow Council.

Around 30 places are up for grabs by young people looking for an alternative to higher education, with posts in departments ranging from ICT to engineering.

Successful applicants will start work later this year and candidates have been urged to apply as soon as possible, with deadlines looming.

The placements, which last for between one and four years, offer people the chance to study for qualifications while earning money and gaining experience in the workplace.

Simone Harrington, who recently gained an NVQ qualification, is nearing the end of her year-long apprenticeship at the council and has been given another year's contract working as a business support officer.

The 18-year-old impressed her bosses by making the finals of the London Councils Best Contribution by a New Apprentice award, the winner of which will be announced later this month.

"It’s been a great year and I'm really pleased to be asked to stay on," she said. "I went to college after finishing school but I just had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do so I sort of jumped around from course to course.

"But the apprenticeship has been perfect for me. I have friends who have been to university and then just come back and work in the same shop where they worked before.

"With an apprenticeship you earn money rather than running up debts and I really like it here. It’s definitely where I want to be. I have had amazing support, especially from my manager Theresa Gragousian."

For more information about apprenticeships at Hounslow Council, email apprenticeship coordinator Tomi Moronkola at or call 020 8583 6036. You can also apply online at