Degree based apprenticeships will be available at Braintree Council for the first time ever this year.

The qualifications, which are in Chartered Management, will be delivered at Anglia Ruskin University, and will be offered to aspiring staff within the workforce going forward.

Apprentices will be able to gain a university degree without paying tuition fees and whilst getting a monthly pay packet.

Greg Tye, a level three apprentice, and Katie Bright, a level four apprentice, are the first two students to sign up - with the course to begin in May.

Andy Wright, chief executive of Braintree Council, said: "This programme is a fantastic opportunity for our staff to develop their careers whilst still carrying out their busy day-to-day roles.

"We are also delighted to be working alongside Anglia Ruskin University to deliver the apprenticeships so we can use the very best academic resources available to develop and grow future leaders.

"We are keen to invest in developing the skills, qualifications and long-term careers of our workforce and support those individuals who can help us deliver the best possible service to our residents.”

The new work-based learning scheme will combine academic and vocational learning, meaning Braintree Council can make good use of the Government's new Apprenticeship Levy.

John McKee, councillor responsible for corporate services, said: “I am delighted to introduce our first cohort of degree apprenticeships which will allow us to support our existing staff as well as nurture new talent coming into the organisation.

"These apprenticeships offer a real alternative to a traditional degree course and are a great way to earn while you learn.”