New partnership aims to increase Civil Service apprentices in Wales
A new partnership is being developed to introduce the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship Programme to more Civil Service employers working for the UK Government in Wales.
The National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) has linked up with the UK Government Cabinet Office to provide access to apprenticeships for new recruits and people already employed in the Civil Service.
The NTfW represents more than 70 quality assured work-based learning providers who deliver apprenticeships for the Welsh Government.
Working closely with businesses and interested stakeholders across Wales, the NTfW’s Apprenticeship Team handles all apprenticeship enquiries from employers that come through the Welsh Government’s Skills Gateway for Business.
The team and Wales’ Apprenticeship Programme are both funded by the Welsh Government with European Social Fund support.
Thanks to the team’s existing partnership with the Ministry of Justice, work is already underway to create a new Apprenticeship Framework for Custody or Detention Officer Level 3 in Wales.
This successful partnership resulted in a virtual conference with the Cabinet Office which was attended by high ranking civil servants from several UK Government departments last week.
Jeff Protheroe, the NTfW’s operations director and Catherine Morris-Roberts, the NTfW’s apprenticeships programme development manager, gave presentations about the skills priorities and strategic ambitions of the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship Programme and the support available to employers.
The conference was designed to increase apprenticeship opportunities in the Civil Service by enhancing collaboration, sharing best practice and developing a strategic approach to benefit the UK economy.
The NTfW has since spoken to three UK Government departments interested in recruiting apprentices or growing and developing existing staff to degree apprenticeship level.
As many UK Government departments pay the Apprenticeship Levy, they are keen to take full advantage of the Apprenticeship Programme in Wales. The NTfW’s Apprenticeship Team is guiding the Civil Service through the process of accessing apprenticeships in Wales, which is much different to England.
“The conference was the result of the good working relationship that the NTfW has developed with the Ministry of Justice, over the past couple of years,” explained Catherine.
“Our Ministry of Justice contact told his colleagues in the Cabinet Office about the service and support provided by the Apprenticeship Team to employers in Wales. He saw the benefit of telling other UK Government departments about how the Apprenticeship Programme works in Wales.
“It’s possible that there will be further quarterly meetings to receive progress reports and Apprenticeship Programme updates. There is a lot more work to be done but we plan to continue our partnership with the Cabinet Office and to connect with other departments of the Civil Service here in Wales.
“We have expressed the importance of the Civil Service informing the Regional Skills Partnerships in Wales of their specific skills needs.”