Apprenticeships secure the IPO’s very own intellectual property

Posted on by karen.smith

English | Cymraeg

Elaine Short, learning and development specialist at the Intellectual Property Office, with apprentice Sara Davies.

Elaine Short, learning and development specialist at the Intellectual Property Office, with apprentice Sara Davies.

The Intellectual Property Office in Newport faced a problem recruiting IT professionals fast enough to deal with the amount of change at the organisation.

The solution was to develop a dedicated apprenticeship programme, capable of recruiting, training and retaining young people with IT and other required skills.

Apprenticeship frameworks in Business Administration Level 2 and 3, Finance AAT Level 2 and 3, and IT and Telecoms Professional Level 3 are delivered by training provider Acorn Learning Solutions.

The programme was launched in 2014 and since then 32 apprentices have been recruited with 19 currently employed by the organisation.

All the apprentices who have completed the programme have gone on to secure permanent roles either at the IPO, with other government departments or in the private sector.

Now the organisation has been shortlisted for this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. The company will be competing to become Large Employer of the Year at the prestigious awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on October 20.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the coveted awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.

Thirty star learners, employers and learning providers involved in the delivery of successful skills programmes across Wales have been shortlisted for the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

The awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the outstanding achievements of learners, employers, tutors and assessors who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships and Apprenticeship programmes.

Employing more than 1,150 people, mainly at Newport, the IPO also focuses on supporting local youth employment and works with local colleges and schools when recruiting. It plans to take on 20 apprentices this autumn.

Elaine Short, learning and development specialist at the IPO, said: “The apprenticeship programme was a viable alternative to support our own skills. This was not a quick fix, but part of long term planning that would allow us to identify young talent at an early stage, supporting them to develop a career.

“Apprentices have brought an enthusiasm to everything they do, especially when they work together as a team. The benefits for existing staff is having a boost of new energy that translates into increased productivity for the organisation.”

Louise Wheten, of Acorn Learning Solutions, said: “Our vision with IPO is to continue to further develop and expand the apprenticeship programmes.”

Praising the standard of applicants this year and congratulating the Intellectual Property Office on being shortlisted for an award, Skills and Science Minister, Julie James said: “This year’s shortlisted entrants include exceptional individuals who have excelled in their workplace and learning providers and employers that have gone the extra mile to support the apprentices they are working with. Their stories never cease to amaze and inspire.

“Apprenticeships and vocational skills training are essential ingredients of economic success and vital tools in building a stronger, fairer and more equal Wales.

“These awards provide a perfect platform to celebrate success and reward the hard work and dedication of learners, employers and training providers across Wales. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the night.”

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