Carmarthenshire shared apprenticeship celebrates national award
A West Wales association, which runs a Shared Apprenticeship Programme to provide a pathway for young people entering the construction industry, has been recognised with a prestigious national award.
Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association (CCTAL) was named Medium Employer of the Year at the high profile Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2014 ceremony, held at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Friday (October 31).
“We ae so proud of what we have achieved and it’s down to a team effort,” said Anthony Rees, project training manager. “Winning this award gives us the profile to create an even bigger and better scheme to employ more young people for the future, which is what this is all about.”
The awards are organised jointly by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Showcasing excellence in skills development in Wales by learners, employers and learning providers, the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC with support from media partner, Media Wales.
The awards recognise employers who commit to developing their workforce through apprenticeships and other work-based learning programmes, which support employees during their training. They are also a great way to evaluate training and development, as well as a fantastic motivational factor for any workforce or learner.
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Concern about the retention of young people and qualification levels on traditional craft apprenticeships in the county prompted CCTAL to launch a Shared Apprenticeship Programme to address the problem.
After seven years the programme has recruited 140 apprentices, of whom 53 are currently employed through the association. Thirty have been employed in the past 12 months.
Last year, 29 out of 30 apprentices achieved a Foundation Apprenticeship and 26 out of 27 achieved an Apprenticeship in Bricklaying, Carpentry, Electrical, Plastering and Plumbing. Twenty-three of these have been employed by local contractors, three are in bursary schemes in heritage and one has become a self-employed contractor.
“We decided to establish a shared approach where CCTAL employers and Carmarthenshire County Council would provide on-site training within their businesses and Coleg Sir Gâr would provide off-site training,” said Mr Rees.
Since the programme was established it has “far exceeded” expectations, with 90 per cent attainment of apprenticeships.
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James said: “Apprenticeships provide great opportunities for businesses and learners alike. It’s clear that more and more organisations, like Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association, are seeing the benefits of apprenticeships.
“Employers that are committed to developing their workforce through apprenticeships and other work-based learning programmes, are benefitting from highly skilled, motivated employees. Meanwhile, apprentices are gaining highly-regarded qualifications and valuable experience of the demands of the workplace.”
More than 400 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales attended the awards ceremony, where guests dined out with chefs from the Culinary Team Wales.