NTfW Newsletter – November 2013

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Training Providers given key role in skills pathway for young people

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Ken Skates (second from left) with other speakers at the NTfW’s annual conference (from left) NTfW chairman Wynne Roberts, FSB Wales’ head of external affairs Iestyn Davies, NTfW chief executive Arwyn Watkins, Edge Foundation's chief executive Jan Hodges and Skills for Health senior consultant Jan Parfitt.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates, has called on work-based learning providers in Wales to play a key role in setting out a clear pathway to employment, opportunity and success for every young person in Wales.

In a keynote speech to 160 delegates at the National Training Federation for Wales’ annual conference at the Celtic Manor Resort, he outlined the steps needed to give all young people in Wales the support, guidance and opportunities to succeed.

The conference theme, ‘Nurturing Talent: Building the Workforce of the Future in Wales’, explored how work-based learning providers could work together with key stakeholders to ensure the needs of the economy and of Welsh employers, particularly small and medium sized enterprises, were met.

“In the days before devolution we set an inspiring target of seeing 50 per cent of young people progress to higher education,” said the Deputy Minister, making his first major speech in post. “What we didn’t do, but what I as a Minister will do, is talk about what happens to the other 50 per cent.”

He explained that alignment, employability and engagement were all key to helping young people onto the right path. “We undoubtedly need to align the courses and programmes on offer from schools, colleges, universities and other training providers with the skills needs of employers.

“I want to make sure that the courses and skills on offer deliver jobs and growth, supporting businesses and developing people in employment or seeking work. To ensure that this is happening and continues to happen in the future I will be publishing a policy statement on skills in the near future.”

Praising the “vital role” played by work-based learning providers in meeting the skills needs of businesses, he pledged the Welsh Government’s continued support to apprenticeships and other successful work-based learning programmes.

On employability, the Deputy Minister stressed the need to equip young people with the experience, skills and attitudes required to obtain and sustain work.

Finishing on the issue of engagement, the Deputy Minister called for a move towards new understanding and expectation on how responsibility for skills is shared between individuals, schools, employers and Government.

The future funding of work-based learning programmes was also a key theme for the NTfW’s chief executive, Arwyn Watkins. He said members must be prepared to seek funding from sources other than the Welsh Government and Europe in the future and work together to come up with employment and skills solutions.

He warned them against “sleep walking into the future” by believing that the current level of Welsh Government funding would continue. Evidence suggested that there would be far less public funds available, with the 2014-15 budget for Further Education Institutions set to be cut by between £15-£20 million.

“For this network to deliver on the aspirations in work-based learning we will need to secure alternative cash from either the employer, the learner or from a corporate sponsor who sees it as their social responsibility to reinvest a percentage of their profits into the skills aspirations of this country’s youth,” said Mr Watkins.

He appealed to NTfW members, the Welsh Government and Estyn to ensure that public money is spent wisely by removing bureaucracy, stamping out duplication and targeting funding more precisely on skills delivery.

He also called on the Welsh Government to involve the NTfW and recognise work-based learning providers in the new Education (Wales) Bill, which has big implications for the future of the education and training workforce in Wales. By snubbing work-based learning providers, the Welsh Government was wasting a golden opportunity to achieve parity of esteem between academic and vocational learning routes, he said.

Parity of esteem was also a key topic covered by Edge Foundation’s chief executive Jan Hodges as she supported a closer working relationship with the NTfW to celebrate vocational learning.

In a challenging speech, the FSB Wales’ head of external affairs Iestyn Davies called on NTfW members to take the lead in engaging with the nation’s SMEs to provide them with a skilled workforce for the future to transform the Welsh economy.

He said there was a perception amongst FSB members that apprenticeships were for large companies, but not for them. Pathways to further education and work-based learning needed to be marketed with the same vigour as higher education.

He warned delegates that things would have to be done differently to deliver the skills that the Welsh economy needed now and in the future, advocating shared apprenticeships to ensure that learners gained skills that were relevant to businesses of all sizes.

The other speakers were Jan Parfitt from Skills for Health, and Joe Banks, the Welsh Government’s head of youth support and guidance.

The conference preceded the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru presentation dinner. Both the conference and the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and media partner is Media Wales.

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Best in Wales Celebrated at Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony

Cutting edge technology in world leading businesses, bespoke Apprenticeship Programmes designed to meet the needs of industry and inspiring individual success stories were celebrated at a high profile awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport last night (October 18).

The prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru brought together the cream of learners, employers and training providers across Wales, who have shown total dedication and commitment to skills development and business improvement.

Showcasing excellence in skills development in Wales, the awards were organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) and sponsored by Pearson with support from media partner Media Wales.

The awards recognise the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers that have exceeded expectations and demonstrated enterprise, creativity and a real commitment to improving skills for the benefit of the Welsh economy.

Apprenticeships are at the heart of business effectiveness and provide talented people who have the skills needed for employers to prosper and compete. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with the support of the European Social Fund.

The winners were: Small Employer of the Year: Maes Manor Hotel, Blackwood. Large Employer of the Year: Mabey Bridge Ltd, Chepstow. Macro Employer of the Year: Airbus Operations Ltd, Broughton. Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: ISA Training, Bridgend. Apprenticeship provider for Social Responsiveness: Acorn, Newport.

Higher Apprentice of the Year: Alex Birbeck, Airbus Operations Ltd, Broughton. Foundation Apprentice of the Year: Paula Blundell, Ysgol Mynydd Isa, near Mold. Apprentice of the Year: April Davies, Dolfor, Newtown. Entrepreneurial Apprentice of the Year: Nick Petrakis, ‘nickymichaels’, Cardiff. Sponsored by Leadership and Management Wales

Traineeships Learner of the Year (Engagement): Dominic Evans, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport. Traineeship Learner of the Year (Level 1): Lucy Price, Bangor. Jobs Growth Wales – Outstanding Achiever of the Year: Ffion Malwala, Prestatyn. Steps to Employment Learner of the Year: Nicola Sanigar, Barry. Sponsored by ACT Training.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates said: “The Apprenticeship Awards allow us to celebrate the range of skills that our young people have to offer as well as the dedication shown by employers and training providers and I’d like to congratulate all of the worthy winners.

“It was a real pleasure to meet such hard-working and ambitious young people who have all achieved so much, as well as the employers and training providers who have gone that extra mile in supporting young people to fulfil their potential. They are all a credit to themselves and an inspiration to others.

“Our recent budget announcement has confirmed an additional £12.5 million to extend our Jobs Growth Wales programme for a fourth year. This means that we can create more than 4,000 extra job opportunities for 16-24 year olds in 2015-16. The Welsh Government will also be investing a further £20 million in 2015-16 to support apprenticeships. This is excellent news for our young people and our employers and will allow us to make a real difference.”

Arwyn Watkins, NTfW chief executive, said: “The award winners and finalists are excellent examples of a partnership approach to skills development in Wales by employers, apprentices, training providers and the Welsh Government working together to deliver a high quality workforce.

“I commend both the Welsh Government for its continued commitment to apprenticeships and the NTfW network for continuing to deliver high quality work-based learning programmes that have put Wales in the premier league. The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru are a critically important showcase as we strive to achieve parity of esteem between vocational and academic learning routes.”


Airbus Operations Ltd, one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, which has its wing manufacturing plant in Broughton, Flintshire, was a double winner at the awards ceremony. The company won the Macro Employer of the Year and employee Alex Birbeck, 21, collected the Higher Apprentice of the Year award.

The Apprenticeship Programme at Airbus is the cornerstone of its skills strategy, with excellent talent retention and development ensuring one of the world’s leading manufacturers of aircraft has a highly skilled workforce. The business employs 350 apprentices and continues to lead within the sector.

Alex from Buckley, has recently completed a Higher Apprenticeship in Engineering and has set his sights on a Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He has made personal contributions to projects such as Long Range Design, where an engineering solution was needed on an A330 aircraft wing set.

Maes Manor Hotel, Blackwood, which has achieved its objective of increasing morale and productivity since establishing an apprenticeship programme nearly two years ago, took the award for Small Employer of the year. The hotel now employs 10 apprentices.

Chepstow business Mabey Bridge Ltd, which launched its Apprenticeship Programme eight years ago to ensure a steady supply of fabricators into the successful business, was named Large Employer of the Year. The company, which employs employing 600 people, is one of the world’s leading specialist suppliers of quality steel bridging, infrastructure, wind turbine towers and heavy plated structural steelwork.

After being runner up last year, it was Bridgend-based ISA Training’s turn to be in the spotlight as the company was named Apprenticeship Provider of the Year. The largest independent hairdressing and beauty training provider in Wales, the business has grown turnover tenfold to £3.5 million in the past 15 years and has increased learners from 100 to 800 plus and the number of employers it works with from 35 to 400 plus.

Newport-based Acorn collected the Provider Award for Social Responsiveness. Vulnerable women from ethnic minorities, refugees, people working in the community and teenagers with special educational needs are among more than 1,000 learners that the company has helped to complete learning activities over the last year.

Hairdressing entrepreneur Nick Petrakis, 27, who won the Foundation Apprentice of the Year award in 2012 for his truly inspirational story, added another trophy to his collection after being named Entrepreneurial Apprentice of the Year. He has realised a lifetime ambition by opening a successful salon, ‘nickymichaels’ in Cyncoed, Cardiff.

Determined April Davies, 21, from Dolfor, near Newtown, who has become a role model for young women seeking a career in the male dominated farming industry, won the Apprentice of the Year. From a non-farming background, she found she was the only girl on her work-based learning course but now works for Dairy Dreams and Common Piece Farm, Churchstoke.

The Foundation Apprentice of the Year award went to Paula Blundell, 40, a mother of one from Bryn-y-Baal, near Mold, who has proved it’s never too late to learn. She works as a teaching assistant and midday superviser at Ysgol Mynydd Isa and says completing a Foundation Apprenticeship has opened up a new world to her.

Dominic Evans,18, who is more used to working behind the scenes as a trainee chef at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, found himself in the spotlight as the winner of the Traineeship Learner of the Year (Engagement).

Lucy Price, 17, who works at TH1 hair salon in Bangor, where she is recognised as an outstanding employee with real potential to progress further, won the Traineeship Learner of the Year (Level 1) award.

Ffion Malwala, 24, a graduate who moved from Cardiff to Prestatyn to pursue her career in graphic design with Daydream Designs, won the Jobs Growth Wales Outstanding Achiever of the Year award.

Nicola Sanigar, 35, a mum-of-four from Barry who has gained childcare qualifications and secured herself a job at Daisy Day Nursery, won the Steps to Employment Learner of the Year award.

The other finalists were: Small Employer of the Year (up to 49 employees): Spirit Hair Team, Ystrad Mynach and The Cardiff Story Museum, Cardiff. Large Employer of the Year (up to 5,000 employees): Denbighshire County Council, Ruthin and G. E. Aviation, Nantgarw. Macro Employer of the Year (more than 5,000 employees): BT, Cardiff and Flintshire County Council, Mold.

Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: Coleg Cambria (Mid and North Wales Skills Consortium), Wrexham and Vocational Skills Partnership (Wales) Ltd, Abercynon. Provider Award for Social Responsiveness: Coleg Cambria (Mid and North Wales Training Consortium), Wrexham.

Foundation Apprentice of the Year: Joshua Jenkins, DRB Group, Connah’s Quay and Ashley Jones, R. J. Auto Centre, Gorseinon. Entrepreneurial and Apprentice of the Year: Emma Brooks, Jolly Tots Nursery, Llandrindod Wells and Aron Wyn Jones, Rehau Ltd, Blaenau Ffestiniog. Higher Apprentice of the Year: Daniel Holland, Airbus UK, Broughton and Ann Roberts, Hafod Care Association, Cwmbran.

Traineeship Learner of the Year (Engagement): Tamar Girdlestone, Amlwch and Shannon Mason, Cardiff. Traineeship Learner of the Year (level one): Jordan Jackson, Caerphilly and Chloe Lodder, Cwmbran. Steps to Employment Learner of the Year: Sean Parsons, Newport and Kevin Price, Hengoed. Jobs Growth Wales Outstanding Achiever of the Year: Gareth Carpenter, Newport and Craig Wadley, Pencoed.

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Wales celebrates positive impact of money management programme

Left-Right Jeff Protheroe NTfW, Sarah Porretta Lloyds Bank, Bethan Phillips Money for Life Challenge Wales Ambassador, Janet Finch-Saunders, AM for Aberconwy and Rachel Dodge CollegesWales

The positive impact that people across Wales involved in Lloyds Bank’s award-winning Money for Life programme are making in their communities was celebrated at an event in Cardiff.

Money for Life is a personal money management programme, aimed at improving the knowledge, confidence and skills of communities around the UK to help people to manage their money better.

Local communities in Wales have participated in the programme in various ways, such as completing fully-funded training qualifications and taking part in the Money for Life Challenge for 16 to 24 year olds.

Since the programme started in 2010, more than 2,400 people have been trained to teach personal money management to communities while engaging over 600 organisations across the UK.

ColegauCymru/CollegesWales and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), who deliver the programme in Wales, hosted the event at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff to bring together people who have made Money for Life such a success and to introduce the programme to more community groups and learning providers.

Speakers included Wales’ Shadow Local Government Minister, Janet Finch-Saunders, AM for Aberconwy, who praised the positive impact the programme was having on communities and individuals across Wales.

“Following the global financial crisis, we have all been feeling the pinch of the tight fiscal situation that has resulted,” she said. “This has given rise to increases in personal debt and the growth in payday lenders.”

She expressed concern that over 90,000 people in Wales had used the services of payday lenders and she was keen to promote financial management programmes, such as Money for Life, to stop people getting into a vicious cycle of debt.

She pledged to speak about the Money for Life programme in the Senedd, as a Financial Literacy Private Member’s Bill, proposed by Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins, works its way through the National Assembly for Wales.

“It’s vital that we ensure that young people are given the skills to make the right decisions with their finances during their transition from learning to earning,” she added. “The Money for Life programme is designed to provide them with the skills they need to successfully manage their finances and support their wider community to do so.”

Allan Griffiths, Lloyds Banking Group’s Ambassador for Wales, said: “The aim of the Money for Life Programme is to embed money skills in communities across the country to help them prosper. We decided the time was right to mark the amazing impact the programme has had across Wales.

“Through the Money for Life Challenge, we have awarded more than 350 grants of £500 to teams of young people to develop innovative projects that make a lasting impact on improving their own money management skills, as well as their friends and families.

“It is important to take a moment to reflect on the positive influence that the Money for Life Programme has made and I’m excited to see the impact it will continue to make around the country.”

He presented awards to five individuals and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the success of the programme in Wales. For the Money for Life qualifications, Sian McDonald form Newport City Homes, was awarded the individual engagement award and Hayley Rees and Ros Protheroe from ACT Training, Cardiff received the organisation engagement award.

For the Money for Life Challenge, the outstanding project sponsor award went to Ian Reynolds from the Employment Training Centre in Swansea, the organisation engagement award went to Lucy Turtle, enterprise officer at Gower College Swansea and the outstanding support award went to Kelly Jennings, learning enrichment co-ordinator at Coleg y Cymoedd.

Other speakers were Money for Life project manager for Wales Rachel Dodge from ColegauCymru, Money for Life Challenge Wales Ambassador Bethan Phillips, NTfW operations manager Jeff Protheroe, Cardiff Community Housing Association’s financial inclusion officer Paul Elliot, Cardiff and Vale College’s student financial support manager Felix McLaughlin and Rick Taylor, an essential skills tutor at Cardiff Prison.

Workshops were run by Mr Taylor, Sumim Naher and Sian McDonald from Newport City Homes, Lisa Chilcottt from Caerphilly County and Blaenau Gwent CAB and Jen Williams from Cadwyn Housing Association.

Groups aged between 16 and 24 years who wish to enter this year’s Money for Life Challenge were encouraged to send in their applications before the November 22 deadline.

For online information on the Money for Life Programme visit www.moneyforlifeprogramme.org.uk/, Facebook at www.facebook.com/moneyforlifeuk and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/moneyforlifeuk

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Businesses in Wales benefit from investing in leadership and management development, new report shows

Companies in Wales have reported a range of positive impacts from developing their leaders and managers, including business expansion, cost savings and improved productivity.

The findings come from the latest research by Leadership & Management Wales (LMW), the Welsh Government’s centre for excellence for leadership and management skills.

The report assesses how a selection of Welsh businesses have evaluated the impact of leadership and management development.

The report’s author, Ruth Wootton, managing director of Newport-based Momentwm Consulting, said: “There was strong evidence of significant and positive impacts on both business performance and bottom-line results.

“In other words, the research suggests there are real benefits for companies which invest in developing the skills of their managers and leaders.”

Of the 10 Welsh businesses studied in the report:

  • 8/10 could evidence that business performance indicators had improved;
  • 6/10 could quantify monetary savings that they attributed wholly or partly to the LMD intervention;
  • 7/10 could quantify business growth that they attributed wholly or partly to the leadership and management development.

Of the 33 businesses initially approached, 18 (55%) said they could attribute tangible business results and/or cost savings to leadership and management development.

Areas of positive impact include:

  • Growth of existing business – increased turnover and increased profits;
  • Expansion of business – diversification into other business areas; opening additional arms of the existing business; purchasing larger premises;
  • Increased sales;
  • Taking on more staff to support business growth;
  • Increased staff retention and associated recruitment and training savings;
  • Improved processes and productivity and the cost savings linked to these;
  • Improved absence management resulting in better attendance rates and the cost savings linked to this;
  • Better people management/performance management and the cost savings linked to this.

Leadership & Management Wales is the centre for excellence for leadership and management skills in Wales. It is part of the Enhancing Leadership and Management Skills (ELMS) programme. ELMS is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

Information about the LMW award and LMW’s services is available at www.lmw.org.uk

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ESDGC – Global citizenship

The events listed below are celebrations and awareness days; each of the events includes details of websites and support materials to help plan activities for learners.

15 November 2013 Children in Need – Resources to support BBC Children in Need, a charity event which raises money to fund projects which help children all over the UK. Further information www.bbc.co.uk

28 November-5 December 2013 Hanukkah – A candle on the menorah is lit for each night of this eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights.www.educationscotland.gov.uk

1 December 2013 Beginning of Advent – Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for Christmas.www.educationscotland.gov.uk

1 December 2013 World AIDS Day – World AIDS Day was the first-ever global health day and has continued to be marked since its inception in 1988. www.educationscotland.gov.uk

5 December 2013 International Volunteer Day – International Volunteer Day is a chance for volunteer-involving organisations and individual volunteers to make visible their contributions to development at local, national and international levels.www.educationscotland.gov.uk

25 December 2013 Christmas Day – Christmas is a Christian celebration marking of the birth of Jesus, and has also become a widely-celebrated secular festival when families get together, enjoy a special meal and exchange gifts. www.educationscotland.gov.uk

31 December 2013 Hogmanay – Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year, also called New Year’s Eve. Some of the Scottish traditions for celebrating New Year have now been adopted world-wide.

In Scotland Hogmanay is the start of a celebration which lasts through the night until the morning of New Year’s Day (January 1) or, in some cases, January 2 which is a Scottish Bank Holiday. Tradititionally in Scotland Hogmanay is a bigger celebration than Christmas.

The custom of singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at midnight on New Year’s Eve is now common in many countries. ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is a traditional poem reinterpreted by Robert Burns, which was later set to music.www.educationscotland.gov.uk

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Nurturing Bilingual Skills in the Workplace

On 18th October 2013, the Bilingual Champion for NTfW, ran an interactive workshop at NTfW’s Annual Conference at The Celtic Manor, which allowed the delegates from providers across Wales to discuss the benefits and barriers to nurturing the bilingual skills of their staff and in turn the learners on courses within the network.

Topics which were covered in the workshop included the entire recruitment process; which includes the use of bilingual/Welsh medium advertisement of jobs and the bilingual interview process. As part of the continuous professional development of staff, the Bilingual Champion discussed the new project being implemented by the WJEC, namely the Welsh in the Workplace Indicators; which allows training providers to assess the Welsh language skills of their staff to gain an indication of the truer level of their skills.

The Bilingual Champion really appreciates the input from those who attended, but also would like to thank Glenda Brown from the WJEC for sponsoring and contributing to the workshop.
For further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Bilingual Champion on ryan.evans@ntfw.org and for those of you with an NTfW Moodle account access, please log in and visit the Bilingual Champion page.

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Money for Life Programme – A Wales Update

It has been a very busy time recently for the Money for Life (MfL) Team here in Wales. The last few weeks have seen Rachel Dodge, CollegesWales and Jeff Protheroe, NTfW conducting a series of road shows around Wales, with a view to raising awareness of the Money for Life Programme, and hosting an extremely successful Celebration Event at the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff.

Looking at each ‘strand’ of the MfL Programme in more detail:
Money for Life Challenge
The Challenge, which is a national competition to find the most successful and innovative ways that young people can improve their money management skills and those of their friends, families and communities, is nearing the end of the first phase, the application stage. The next stage, and once all successful applicants have been informed, they will each be awarded a £200 grant, to bring their project proposals to life. Detailed information about the Challenge can be found here:

Money for Qualifications
A range of fully funded and accredited qualifications are on offer for those practitioners working within the education and training sectors. The qualifications on are offer are:

  • Teach Me. On on-line, self-directed course, which aims to develop the practitioners own levels of understanding in relation to money management issues.
  • Teach Others. This course (based on two one-day sessions) aims to give those practitioners with no formal teaching background, the skills and confidence to deliver money management sessions to groups of individuals. Successful completion of this course leads to a Facilitating Financial Capability (Level 3) qualification
  • Money Mentors. This course (also based on two one-day sessions) aims to give all practitioners (regardless of their background) the skills and confidence to deliver 1-1 money management sessions to individuals. Successful completion of this course leads to a Peer Mentoring Skills (Level 2) qualification.

The above courses need not necessarily been taken in succession, but all provide a solid foundation for delivery money management sessions to individuals and/or groups of learners. The courses are running across Wales throughout the year, and can even be delivered on a providers own site dependant on numbers. Detailed information about the qualifications on offer can be found here:

If you have any queries about any part of the Money for Life Programme (Challenge and/or Qualifications) feel free to contact Jeff Protheroe from NTfW on 029 2049 5861 or email jeff.protheroe@ntfw.org

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News from the Regions

Bright sparkie wins national accolade

Gordon Love, Managing Director, Edmundsons Electrical, Sam Williams, Andrew Basham, Managing Director, Owen & Palmer Electrical, Bangor, and Phil Fagg, President, Electrical Contractors Association.

Trainee electrician Sam Williams has achieved national success after scoring top marks in a set of stringent tests. Sam from Benllech is in the second year of an apprenticeship with Owen and Palmer, based at Llandegai, Bangor.

To make sure standards are maintained in the tests sat by Sam and hundreds of other budding electricians every year, the electrical contractors association (ECA) scrutinise the results. All learners who achieve above 90% are nominated for an award. The test, AM2, is a practical test, set and marked by an external body, which forms part of the electrical NVQ.

After the scrutiny process, Sam was invited to a regional interview in Manchester. After impressing the panel with his technical knowledge and commitment to his career, he progressed to a national interview in London. Having impressed yet again, Sam was chosen to attend a presentation evening in the Tara Copthorne Hotel in Kensington London, where he was awarded the prestigious title of “Adult Trainee of the Year”

Owen and Palmer’s managing director, Mr Andy Basham, told us: “We’re very proud of Sam and really pleased to welcome him on board as a fully qualified electrician.”

Sam commented, “Nobody was more surprised than me to get the award! I have been lucky enough to get good training at Coleg Menai and support from the company. Winning the award has made me even more determined to make a success of my career!”

The event was sponsored by Edmonson’s a national electrical wholesale company and Sam was accompanied at the presentation event by Andy Basham and college tutor Bill Ross.

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ISA Training becomes latest Habia Skills Academy Centre of Expertise

ISA Training is the first training provider in Wales and the only work-based learning provider in the UK to become a Centre of Expertise with the Habia Skills Academy.

ISA has become a Centre of Expertise in Apprenticeships after successfully completing its application and passing an assessment by an industry expert.

Centres of Expertise is a national network of learning providers delivering the very highest quality programmes, recognising those providers delivering the very highest level of training.

Mark Izzard, who conducted the monitoring visit on behalf of the HSA, said, ‘ISA Training is an excellent organisation for Apprenticeships. My recent visit to them was an inspiration. ISA challenges learners and helps them truly understand the industry while helping them build strong skills, providing them with opportunities to see how the industry varies in different salons in the UK and Europe.’

Colleges, centres, manufacturers and employers that are accredited as a Centre of Expertise will have proven they have successfully met and maintained rigorous assessment criteria. Only those that meet that criteria and pass a monitoring site visit by an industry assessor are recognised.

Sarah Heenan, ISA’s Learning and Development Manager said, ‘We are absolutely delighted to receive this accreditation. To become the first provider in Wales recognised for excellent quality of delivery in Hairdressing Apprenticeships from Habia is an honour. It is amazing to have our hard work recognised and it is a tribute to the enthusiasm and dedication of our staff, learners and employers.’

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Itec helps Caidee get a head start

Head start – Caidee (front) with Itec trainee Katy Cutter

When she left school Caidee Belmont had her sights set on becoming a soldier – and then Itec introduced her to the rather gentler world of hairdressing.
The Army’s loss is Treorchy’s gain, because Caidee has become the owner and manager of a popular hair salon business, Colour Purple, in the town centre – and she’s still only 20!

Caidee is being held as an example of what young learners can achieve with a bit of determination and direction – and she is so enthusiastic about the support she received from Itec that she is recommending the service to other jobless young people – as well as providing work placements for other Itec trainees.

Caidee went on an Army training course in Yorkshire after leaving Porth County Comprehensive but decided it wasn’t going to be the career for her. She was referred to Itec’s Traineeship programme by Careers Wales, became hooked on hairdressing and spent time on work experience in salons, as well as gaining appropriate qualifications, including NVQ Level 1, ASDAN and ICT.

Said Caidee “I am a confident person by nature and when I learned that this premises in Bute Street, which was an existing salon, was closing, I took the plunge, bought the stock and took over the rent. Business is good, we’ve built up a regular clientele and it’s going well.”

She added “Whenever I come across someone around my age who is undecided or who lacks direction, I tell them to go to Itec. They assess your needs, help you get qualifications, boost your confidence and seek work opportunities – look where it’s got me!”

Caidee now has two stylists and three juniors – two of them trainees from Itec – at Colour Purple. One of them, Katy Cutter, said “I love it. Caidee has done really well and it shows that people can get on if they are determined.”

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Development of a Regional Employability and Skills Delivery Plan

Elid Morris, Manager, Regional Learning Partnership South West Wales

The Manager of the Regional Learning Partnership – South West and Central Wales, Elid Morris, presented a very well attended and informative workshop at the recent NTfW Conference.

Whilst many Conference delegates were aware of the ground-breaking work being carried out by the Regional Learning Partnership, Elid outlined how the work of the RLP is being developed further, including the completion of a Regional Delivery Plan for Employment and Skills, for the South West and Central Wales region.

Elid was joined in the workshop by Nick McNeill from the Welsh Government who outlined Welsh Government’s discussion paper Employment and Skills delivery 2014 – 2020 . This paper can be found at http://www.rlpsww.org.uk/English/news/Documents/Annex_A.pdf

Nick explained to delegates how the regional delivery plan would fit into this model, highlighting that this was a discussion paper and requested responses and feedback to the Welsh Government to ensure all views were considered.

Attendees of the workshop were asked to discuss and feedback on the documents’ alignment with current sectoral thinking; to consider anything specific to the region’s needs that should be factored into the plans; to consider ways that the RLP can ensure full engagement with and influence of key stakeholders as the plan is developed; and to consider how wider stake holders can practically engage in the process.

Full discussions were held in groups during the workshop, with many valid and meaningful points being raised particularly around mechanisms for ensuring that all stakeholders were fully engaged with the consultation and the development of the Regional Delivery Plan in the future. Elid assured the workshop attendees that their views and suggestions would be considered and used to strengthen the consultation process with immediate effect. Nick McNeill echoed that assurance from the Welsh Government’s perspective and reminded attendees of the contact details for responses.

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Coleg Cambria Construction Courses Equip Students for the World of Work

Left-Right: Nigel Parry, Lewis Edwards and Sam Edwards

Coleg Cambria Deeside Construction students have secured themselves Maintenance Apprenticeships with local housing maintenance and repair company, Cambria Maintenance Services, part of Wales & West Housing.

Two Coleg Cambria Brickwork students, brothers Sam and Lewis were actively seeking employment when Cambria Maintenance Services approached the College’s Construction department to recruit suitable candidates to fill their apprenticeship vacancies.

The brothers were given the opportunity to interview for the posts and after receiving excellent feedback regarding their interviews, both students were delighted to be offered the apprenticeships.

Sam and Lewis will return to Coleg Cambria Deeside as day release students. They will study Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Construction Maintenance Operations which is a 12 month programme. This includes college based training and work-based evidence in areas including Masonry, Wood, Plumbing, Plastering and Decorating repairs. The apprenticeship will enable the learners to be multi-skilled, giving them an advantage over others in the Construction industry.

Dave Roberts, Deputy Director of Construction at Coleg Cambria Deeside said: “Getting students into work is our main goal in the Construction department at Coleg Cambria. We work very closely with the local industry to ensure we are providing not only the right calibre of learner for their needs, but also adapting training programmes to suit local industry needs wherever possible. It is a testament to this collaboration working effectively that two of our learners have been taken on by one forward thinking and driven organisation. We are always proud of any of our students who get an apprenticeship.”

Nigel Parry, Head of Cambria Maintenance Services North, said: “I was so impressed with the two students that I had no choice but to offer them both an apprenticeship with Cambria Maintenance Services. I’m delighted to give Sam and Lewis a chance to find work on an apprenticeship in their local community. It not only benefits them as well as Cambria, but also the local economy.”

Anne Hinchey, Chief Executive of Wales & West Housing, said: “Providing training and work opportunities for local people has become a core part of our business and I am delighted to welcome Sam and Lewis to our organisation. Our maintenance company, Cambria, has only recently expanded to North Wales and I am really pleased that we have formed a strong partnership with Coleg Cambria. I look forward to working with them to provide more opportunities for the local community.”

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ISA Training Win Bridgend Business Services of the Year 2013

Left-Right Katie Cole Chwarae Teg, Shirley Davis-Fox ISA Training, Sian Lloyd BBC Presenter

ISA Training were rewarded for their outstanding contribution to work-based learning on Friday 20th September at a prestigious ceremony at the Coed-y-Mwstwr Hotel, Coychurch. Chair of the Board Shirley Davis-Fox picked up Bridgend Business Forum’s Award for Bridgend Business Service of the Year. “We were delighted to be shortlisted, but to win is just incredible” said Shirley, “especially when we saw the calibre of those shortlisted with us, and indeed of all the businesses present at the event. This is a win for all my team who work tirelessly to keep ISA at the forefront of work-based learning in the hair and beauty sector”

The judging panel were impressed with ISA’s holistic approach to training apprentices, ensuring every apprentice is given the opportunity to experience more than ‘just a training programme’. The nomination highlighted ISA’s unique Oyster Strategy, part of which saw ISA organising a pioneering work placement opportunity for 10 learners to work in Tarragona, Spain for two weeks as part of the European Commission’s Leonardo Programme. Also highlighted was Shirley Davis-Fox’s campaign for State Registration to raise professional standards in the hairdressing sector and the achievements of award winning ISA learners.

The award was sponsored by Chwarae Teg and was presented to Shirley by Katie Cole from Chwarae Teg and BBC Presenter Sian Lloyd.

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Dates for your diary

14-17 November 2013
The Skills Show at the NEC, Birmingham
Click here for more information

3-7 March 2014
Apprenticeship Week
Click here for more information

4 June 2014
VQ Day 2014
Click here for more information

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