NTfW Newsletter – April 2017

Posted on by karen.smith

English | Cymraeg

Minister launches hunt for 2017 Apprenticeship Awards Cymru stars

Minister for Skills and Science Julie James tries her hand at being an electrician during her visit to Crimewatch Alarms Ltd and C W Electrical watched by directors Andrew Hutchins and Rachel Meese-Kendall and apprentices (from left) Ewan Maggs, Jacob Slater, Lewis Rowlands.

Minister for Skills and Science Julie James tries her hand at being an electrician during her visit to Crimewatch Alarms Ltd and C W Electrical watched by directors Andrew Hutchins and Rachel Meese-Kendall and apprentices (from left) Ewan Maggs, Jacob Slater, Lewis Rowlands.

Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, launches the hunt for this year’s star learners, employers, tutors and assessors with a visit to one of last year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru winners, Crimewatch Alarms Ltd and CW Electrical, a Newport-based electrical contractor and security and fire alarms specialist.

The Minister selected Crimewatch Alarms Ltd and CW Electrical, a Newport-based electrical contractor and security and fire alarms specialist, as a shining example of what can be achieved by a business that invests in apprenticeships to develop a highly skilled workforce.

She’s hoping that many similar companies across Wales will apply for this year’s coveted awards, which are launched by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). The awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.

Application forms are available to download from the NTfW’s website at https://www.ntfw.org/apprenticeships-awards/ and the closing date is noon on June 23, 2017. Read more >>>

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Driving excellence through professional development

Conference speakers (from left) Mark McDonough from Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, Kelly Edward, the NTfW’s head of work-based learning quality, Mark Evans, Her Majesty’s Inspector from Estyn, Sarah John, the NTfW’s chairman and Julie James, Minister for Skills and Science.

Conference speakers (from left) Mark McDonough from Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, Kelly Edward, the NTfW’s head of work-based learning quality, Mark Evans, Her Majesty’s Inspector from Estyn, Sarah John, the NTfW’s chairman and Julie James, Minister for Skills and Science.

Following the success of the first NTfW Teaching, Learning and Assessment Conference: Strengthening Skills for Success in March 2017, further professional learning opportunities for Work-based Learning Practitioners will take place from September 2017, culminating in a second Teaching, Learning and Assessment conference in March 2018.

In response to thematic feedback from Estyn, and in line with the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship Skills Policy Plan, NTfW training events will include Giving Effective Feedback to Learners; Assessment for Learning; Planning for Learning; and Developing Higher Level Learners. Continuing the focus on strengthening skills for effective teaching, learning and assessment practice to improve outcomes for work-based learners, the training events will aim to enhance pedagogical strategies for high quality vocational delivery.

Read article on conference >>>

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Teenaged trio buck the trend with their career choices

Lego challenge participants at IWD Cardiff event

Three talented teenagers are challenging career stereotypes by embarking on apprenticeships in industries not traditionally popular with women.

Mair Thomas, 16, from Llanfynach, is training to become welder or fabricator, Brooklyn Lloyd-Evans, 18, from Pontypridd, is setting out on a career in the creative industries with ITV Wales and Sema Al-Attbi, 18, is aiming for a high-flying career as an engineer with aircraft manufacturer Airbus in Broughton.

Farmer’s daughter Mair, who works for CLH Trailers Ltd in St Clears, has not looked back since being offered a foundation apprenticeship in fabrication/welding through Pembrokeshire College.

She converted a weekend job as a trailer fabricator at the age of 15 into an apprenticeship due to her enthusiasm after the owner, Andrew Noblett, recognised her potential.

The college has helped her learning journey by paying for her transport to and from home. She has rewarded the faith of her tutors and employer with her passion for learning, which has earned her excellent feedback.

Brooklyn began her apprenticeship in media creation production and craft support with ITV Wales in September last year, having previously taken part in the BBC Wales ‘It’s My Shout’ training scheme.

Having secured an apprenticeship with Sgil Cymru, she is the first member of her family to become an apprentice. She says the opportunity of media based apprenticeship was never discussed at school and it came as surprise to teachers when she chose that learning route.

Enjoying earning while she’s learning, she is certain she has made the right decision and is looking forward to an exciting career.

“The ‘It’s my shout’ experience confirmed to me that working in the TV industry was what I wanted to do,” she said. “‘Being involved with stage and creative industry activities was always the place I felt most confident. Now I have an amazing apprenticeship with ITV and I love the job I’m doing. The opportunities are endless.”

Sema Al Attbi, who was born in Sweden of Arab descent, originally planned to study pharmacy in university after achieving high grade in her A levels.

However, put off by the prospect of a student loan debut, she instead opted to earn while she learned and gain life experience and independence by securing an engineering/manufacturing apprenticeship with Airbus. She is now working towards a degree through Coleg Cambria.

“I was brought up to believe that medicine was the best career path to help people, but I decided that, after work experience, the apprenticeship route was a better fit for me,” she explained. “As a female Arab, this is culturally unusual.

“Coleg Cambria is a fully inclusive environment and I have been fully supported by my family. The Airbus apprenticeship gives me a wider choice, with practical hands-on experience and a wage, as opposed to university.”

The three teenagers featured in the NTfW’s female apprentice focus to mark International Women’s Day on March 8. The NTfW is promoting the benefits of apprenticeships to individuals from a variety of cultural and social backgrounds and is keen to highlight non-traditional career routes for male and female learners in the work based learning sector.

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Celebrating Bilingualism Skills in the Workplace


NTfW’s Bilingual Champion is working closely with Sgiliaith and ColegauCymru on the exciting ‘Gŵyl Cyflogiaith’ (Celebrating Bilingualism@Work) Conference, which is to be held on Thursday 25 May 2017 at the Urdd Centre, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff between 9:30am and 3pm.

The event aims to share good practice across the FE and work-based learning (WBL) sector in Wales, but also goes one step further, where there will be guest speakers from local employers who will speak about their attitudes and requirements in relation to Welsh language skills in the workplace.

The conference is free to attend and is aimed at non-Welsh speaking and Welsh-speaking Managers and Practitioners from within post-16 education providers; however, NTfW, ColegauCymru and Sgiliaith are interested in hearing more from employers and other stakeholders who are interested in discussing the importance of Welsh skills in the workplace.

To register on the event please click here.

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Inspiring skills and accelerating learning

HAVE A GO, LLANELLI, 17/03/2016

The Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales project has been providing young people from across Wales with the opportunity to explore career pathways and, enhance and develop their skill sets through unconventional methods.

The Welsh Government funded project which is in its third year focuses on encouraging learners from across Wales to enter skills competitions to showcase their ability to be ‘best in class’.

Skills Competitions, offer students, trainees and apprentices a chance to challenge, benchmark and raise their skills by taking part in competitions locally, nationally and internationally across a range of sectors.

More recently, the Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales has expanded to support the Welsh Government funded initiative, Have a Go Wales. The initiative allows pupils from across Wales the opportnty to have a taster of different career options with the use of high-tech equipment. The initiative hopes to encourage greater engagement with young people in schools and, raise awareness of career pathways that will impact positively on businesses in Wales.

It involves our partners working collaboratively and organising events in schools and encouraging learners to think about their future.
To find out more on how you could get involved in Skills Competitions in Wales visit www.worldskillswales.org or the Have a Go initiative visit www.haveagowales.co.uk

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Digital Literacy – Creativity


This is the fourth in a series of 5 Digital Literacy training events that the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) will be organising. The event will take place on Thursday 11 May 2017 at Ocean Park House, East Tyndall Street, Cardiff, CF24 5ET.

The course is aimed at tutors, trainers and assessors who want to introduce Digital Literacy into their delivery. Participants may also have responsibility for delivering the Essential Digital Literacy Skills (EDLS) qualifications at Entry 3 and Level 1. Participants will have the opportunity to be actively engaged with digital tools, to work collaboratively and to engage in purposeful professional dialogue. There will also be the opportunity to obtain Agored Cymru ESfWL Level 2 Digital Creativity accreditation.

NTfW Members £78.00 and non-members £178.00, this will include refreshments and lunch.

Agored Cymru ESfWL Level 2 Digital Creativity

The cost of the accreditation is being met by Welsh Government as part of the Quality Improvement Plan. Book your place now >>>

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Gain maximum exposure for your organisation and influence the next generation of Wales’ workforce


SkillsCymru is the largest series of careers, jobs, skills and apprenticeship events in Wales, located in Cardiff and Llandudno and attracting up to 10,000 visitors each year.

Not only is SkillsCymru a great way of reaching young people and their families, but also a fantastic way to promote your organisation on a regional and national level to key audiences for free! SkillsCymru 2016 received 37 pieces of regional and national coverage, including spotlights on exhibitors and a ‘Made in Cardiff’ broadcast!

Read what our exhibitors said…

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News from the Regions

Educ8 ranked a Times Top 100 company for 3rd year


We are so excited to announce that we’ve been included on the prestigious Times Top 100 Small Companies to Work For list for a third year. After being awarded 3 star status by workplace engagement specialists, Best Companies- indicating ‘extraordinary levels of engagement amongst our employees’- it was last night revealed at a high profile awards ceremony in Chelsea, London, that we ranked sixth in the overall Times 100 roll of honour. This is a massive achievement considering we have almost doubled in size over the last 18 months and is testament to the power of the amazing culture that we’ve created within the Educ8 Group. Hooray for us!!

This time Best Companies commended the work we do to give back to our local communities as well as the activities that we coordinate to raise crucial funds for charity. They also praised the way in which information is shared across the organisation and the way we care about and value our most important asset- our People!

We all feel very proud to be recognised for creating such a great working environment, no one more so than our CEO, Colin Tucker: ‘This award is a fantastic recognition for all the team at Educ8. Grant and I are unbelievably proud of each and every one of you, none of this would be possible without you- thank you all!’ Read more >>>

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Military college wins top national education award

A specialist network of military preparation colleges has been named “Training Provider of the Year” in one of the UK’s most prestigious awards for further education.

The Motivational Preparation College for Training (MPCT) group, which helps young people to build life skills, self-confidence, and physical fitness through an ‘active learning’ approach, scooped the top prize at the Times Education Supplement (TES) Further Education Awards 2017.
The presentation was made at an awards ceremony held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane on Friday 24th February, and hosted by comedian Rob Beckett. MPCT was one of eight training providers shortlisted for the national accolade.

The award win coincides with MPCT winning a place on The Sunday Times Best 100 Small Companies To Work For list.

Meanwhile, new data from the Department of Education has shown that MPCT’s network of Military Preparation Colleges are stealing a march on other sixth form colleges when it comes to qualifications in employability and preparation for life and work.

In the most recent Quality Achievement Rates released this month, 93.1% of MPCT’s learners gained an Award in Employability Skills (against the national result of 88.8%), and 98% of learners received a Certificate in Employability (compared to national result of 83.4%). It also shows 82.4% of MPCT learners are prepared for life and work, compared with the national average of 66.4%. The college has also helped 74.6% of its young people to achieve basic skills in Maths and English, a steep rise on the national average of 54.8%. Read more >>>

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Higher Apprenticeship Award at Semta Skills Awards

Coleg Cambria student Ethan Davies has been named the UK’s Higher Apprentice of the Year at the Semta Skills Awards 2017 gala dinner in London’s Hilton Hotel. Talented engineer Ethan, 21-year-old from Mynydd Isa, Flintshire beat off strong competition to win this prestigious award, sponsored by Rolls-Royce.

Ethan who’s employed by Electroimpact, of Manor Lane, Hawarden as an apprentice Computer Numerical Control machinist recently achieved a medallion of Excellence in CNC Milling at the EuroSkills in Sweden.

Ethan, who received his award at the Semta Skills Awards 2017 gala dinner in London’s Hilton Hotel hosted by BBC presenter Alexander Armstrong said:

“Winning this award was a privilege, and it just shows if you work hard you can achieve your dreams. It’s been amazing few years for me and I look forward to what the future holds.” Read more >>>

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Employers’ lead the way for the Regional Learning and Skills Partnership South West and Mid Wales

Regional Learning and Skills Partnership South West and Mid Wales is moving towards becoming an employer led partnership, as a result, our desire to increase our levels of employer engagement has resulted in the creation of six industry cluster groups and a Mid regional group. These cluster groups will be essential to the work of the RLSP for the foreseeable future as we strive to capture the voice of key employers in the region to inform the annual Employment and Skills Plan.

In alignment with those sectors that have been deemed of a high priority to the region of South West and Mid Wales the six groups are as follows;

  • Advanced Materials, Manufacturing and Energy
  • Food, Farming and Environment
  • Creative, ICT and Professional Services
  • Tourism, Leisure and Retail
  • Health, Social Care and Life Science
  • Construction
  • Regional cluster group as an all industry voice for the Mid Wales region

The cluster groups have been set up to capture a representative, credible and collective employer’s voice from all sectors, with a chair from each of the cluster groups elected to sit on the RLSP Board which will see Businesses, Providers, Enterprise Zones and Economic areas actively working together to secure a more prosperous and sustainable future for South West and Mid Wales.

To complete the RLSP employer survey click here

Spotlight on South West and Mid Wales Unveiled to Thousands of Students

In partnership, the Regional Learning and Skills Partnership and Careers Wales have jointly developed an exciting new resource ‘Spotlight on South West and Mid Wales’.

The resource is an innovative tool created to highlight the employment opportunities available to young people who are about to leave school across the region.

To compliment the resource a short video has been produced to highlight the key infrastructure projects currently planned for South West and Mid Wales. Viewers will see key employers and industry representatives highlighting the wealth of opportunities available to young people in the region. Read more >>>

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Dates for your diary

8 May 2017
Professionally Speaking 2017, City Hall, Cardiff

11 May 2017
Digital Literacy – Creativity, Ocean Park House, East Tyndall Street, Cardiff

25 May 2017
Gŵyl Cyflogiaith Conference, Urdd Centre, Cardiff Bay

29 May – 3 June 2017
Urdd National Eisteddfod, Bridgend, Taff-Ely

7 June 2017
VQ Day

27 June 2017
Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month, St David’s Hall, Cardiff

29 June 2017
NTfW Annual Conference, Cardiff City Football Stadium, Leckwith, Cardiff

3-9 July 2017
Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod

24-27 July 2017
Royal Welsh Agricultural Show (RWAS), Builth Wells

28-30 July 2017
Big Cheese Festival, Caerphilly

4-12 August 2017
Eisteddfod, Bodedern, Anglesey

4-5 October 2017
Skills Cymru, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

11-12 October 2017
Skills Cymru, Venue Cymru, Llandudno

20 October 2017
Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport

16-18 November 2017
The Skills Show, NEC, Birmingham

For more information on all forthcoming events in Wales, please visit the following website:

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Welsh words for Spring


Yr Awr Gymraeg (The Welsh Hour) Twitter account @yrawrgymraeg see what people are saying and join the conversation #yagym every Wednesday between 8.0-9.0pm.

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