Employers, learners and trainers unite for Apprenticeship Week in Wales
Businesses, apprentices and training providers across Wales will be uniting during Apprenticeship Week from February 7-13 to celebrate the positive impact of apprenticeships.
A week of events and social media activity will highlight how apprenticeships can give individuals the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career and how businesses can develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills.
The National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), which represents work-based training providers across the country, has organised three virtual events during the week to showcase the diversity of apprenticeships.
The free events, which will take place online via MS Teams, are being delivered in partnership with Welsh Government, Careers Wales and Working Wales, Engage to Change, Wates Construction and Companies House.
Each event will include information on apprenticeship vacancies, employer case studies, support available to learners, studying through the medium of Welsh or bilingually and a question and answer session.
‘Supporting Disabled People into Apprenticeships’ will be held on Tuesday, February 8, ‘Supporting Females into Construction Roles’ is on Wednesday, February 9 and ‘Supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic People into Apprenticeships’ is on Thursday, February 10.
To register for the events, which are all from 10am to 11am and led by Humie Webbe, the NTfW’s strategic equality and diversity lead, visit: www.ntfw.org/events/apprenticeships-for-all-2022
Humie said: “Apprenticeships remain a great way to earn and learn skills that employers want. We’re excited to share apprenticeship opportunities and demonstrate how employers and training providers are supporting underrepresented groups into apprenticeships.
“Our Apprenticeships for All events are for anyone curious about apprenticeships and want to take that next step to kick start their careers.”
Follow the hashtags #AWWALES and #BuildTheFuture on social media to follow events and activities during the week.
The Welsh Government, which funds the apprenticeship programme in Wales with support from the European Social Fund, is urging businesses to make a genius decision by recruiting an apprentice or upskilling an existing employee.
Any employer wishing to discover how their business can benefit from taking on an apprentice or upskilling their current workforce should visit:
businesswales.gov.wales/skillsgateway/skills-and-training-programmes/apprenticeships or call 03301 228338.
The NTfW’s Apprenticeship Team handles all apprenticeship enquiries from employers that come through the Welsh Government’s Business Wales Skills Gateway.
Whether an individual is finding their way in the world of work or taking steps towards a career change, an apprenticeship could be the answer, says the Welsh Government.
Information for individuals about apprenticeships is available via careerswales.gov.wales apprenticeships or by calling 0800 028 4844.
Adam Cisse Bacongo is doing a Civil Engineering Construction Operative Apprenticeship with Coleg Sir Gâr and works for CR Civil Engineering Ltd. He found the apprenticeship online last year after moving to Powys from London just before the first pandemic lockdown.
“In my view, an apprenticeship is one of the best things for young people,” he said. “You gain experience, it puts you into the flow of work, gives you responsibility and makes you more independent. It has definitely improved me, not just as a ground worker but as a person.
“I hope to move up the ladder in the construction industry, gain confidence and continue to focus on myself and my career.”
Coleg Sir Gâr training advisor, Lydia Chapman, said: “Adam has gone from strength to strength since he started his apprenticeship. He has gained so much confidence and his employer, who has fully supported him and helped him to settle into the area, says he’s an important member of their team.”
Kerry Black, 30, has worked at Cartref y Borth in Llanrwst since the age of 23 and has progressed to a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 5) in Leadership for Health and Social Care Services (Adult Residential Management), which is being delivered by North Wales Training.
Despite suffering from painful fibromyalgia, Kerry remains focused on her ambition to become a care inspector and supports members of her team.
Praising North Wales Training’s assessor Lisa Newall, Kerry said: “Lisa has supported me with my learning and emotionally. Having my assessor on hand for support has helped my personal development and enabled me to gain experience to improve the care of residents.”
Lisa said: “The apprenticeships Kerry has achieved have helped her to develop her role from team leader to deputy manager. She is totally committed to learning even though she is busy at work and struggles with her health.”
Betty Lee, a 45-year-old mother of three from Bridgend, opted for a career change 18 months ago and began a Foundation Apprenticeship in Carpentry with house builder Persimmon, which is delivered by Bridgend College.
Having previously worked in a variety of retail jobs, Betty chose the apprenticeship after doing a carpentry course at college because she enjoyed making things and working with wood.
“I am glad I took the leap,” said Betty. “I am enjoying working on site and learning a lot. The apprenticeship has put me on the first step of the construction industry ladder and I hope to progress possibly into joinery in the future.
“My advice to other women who are considering a career in the construction industry is to go for it if that’s what they want to do.”
Carl Davey, construction director for Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “Betty has fantastic ability, a positive attitude and thoroughly enjoys being part of the Persimmon team and working with our experienced apprentices.
“Betty is just one example of how our apprenticeship programmes are helping to raise aspirations in an area of the country which has seen high job losses in recent years.”