Apprentices are making a difference to Newport’s community

Posted on by karen.smith

Newport City Homes

Frances Maclean, apprentice co-ordinator at Newport City Homes, with apprentice Joshua Downing.

Newport City Homes (NCH) has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award that recognises the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality apprenticeships across Wales.

The housing provider is one of 19 finalists in six categories of the Apprenticeships Awards Cymru, organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation Wales (NTfW). Welsh Government apprenticeship programmes are part funded by the European Social Fund.

The winners will be announced at a high profile presentation ceremony at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel, Cardiff, on Wednesday, November 16. Main sponsor of the awards, which aim to showcase excellence in skills development in Wales, is Pearson and media partner for the event is Media Wales.

NCH, which is a finalist in the Large Company category, wanted to deliver more than just quality homes when it was formed in 2009 following the transfer of housing from Newport City Council. It wanted to make a difference to the community.

So the company decided to employ its own apprentices who are placed with various suppliers for experience. It has taken on more than 40 apprentices to date and this year more than 200 people applied for 11 apprenticeships.

John Harrhy, an NCH Board member added: “We believe that through our support our apprentices are given the best opportunity to make a difference for themselves and their community. We are pleased that the apprentice programme is making a real contribution to the lives of young people and their families, as well as helping towards the establishment of a skilled workforce in the Newport area.”

Around 250 stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales are expected to attend the high profile awards ceremony, where guests will dine out with chefs from the Welsh National Culinary Team.

Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said: “I have been encouraged by the extremely high standard of this year’s finalists and the variety across all ages and sectors, which shows the strength of apprenticeship delivery in Wales.

“Irrespective of whether or not they collect an award, the 19 finalists are all winners. Each has an inspiring story to tell, making them true ambassadors for apprenticeship programmes in Wales.

“The Welsh Government is committed to creating more apprenticeship opportunities for young people in Wales and continuing to support employers who are willing to offer high quality apprenticeship places.”

The NTfW is a network of 90 quality assured learning providers, which has links to 35,000 employers across Wales.

President Lord Ted Rowlands said: “Apprenticeship Awards Cymru showcases and celebrates the achievements of those who have exceeded expectations, shown a dynamic approach to training, demonstrated initiative and enterprise, innovation and creativity and shown an understanding and commitment to the improvement of skills development for the Welsh economy.”

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