Public service partnership shortlisted for national apprenticeship award

Posted on by karen.smith

Conwy and Denbighshire Local Service Board officials with some of their apprentices.

Conwy and Denbighshire Local Service Board, a partnership of 14 public service organisations across the two counties, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national apprenticeship award.

The Local Service Board is a finalist in the Macro Employer of the Year category at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2014 and will be attending a high profile awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Friday, October 31.

The awards, divided into 13 categories, 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.

The 14 public service organisations involved in Conwy and Denbighshire Local Service Board have pledged to increase the number and range of apprenticeship opportunities to not only provide real opportunities for young people in the area but also to enable them to grow their own workforces.

The instigation of an Apprenticeship Programme in conjunction with learning provider Grwp Llandrillo Menai has resulted in a huge cultural shift across the partner organisations. The LSB currently employs 132 apprentices between the LSB organisations.

“A wide range of departments are now regularly recruiting apprentices, something they had not really considered before the instigation of the programme,” said Annette Hennessey, Workforce Development Project manager. This has had a very positive effect on the organisation and the apprentices themselves.”

Andrew Bowden, Conwy and Denbighshire LSB chair and chief executive of Cartrefi Conwy, who started his career as an apprentice butcher, said: “By taking on apprentices we are not only offering entry level positions for young people but also growing our own workforce by recruiting individuals who are energetic, motivated, dynamic and full of new ideas. These people will hopefully be our managers, directors and chief executives of the future.”

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James said: “Apprenticeships are one of the most practical and cost effective ways for a business to build a skilled workforce. An apprentice can learn the skills an employer needs to keep pace with developments in their industry and deliver the service customers demand. I am delighted that employers like Conwy and Denbighshire Local Service Board, share the Welsh Government’s commitment to training our future workforce.”

More than 400 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales are expected to attend the high profile awards ceremony, where guests will dine out with chefs from the Welsh National Culinary Team.

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