Swansea authority with ‘grow our own’ policy shortlisted for national award
A “grow our own” policy has resulted in the City and County of Swansea’s Corporate Building and Property Services department being shortlisted for a national apprenticeship award.
The authority, which is recruiting and training apprentices to develop its future capacity and skills, is a finalist in the Large 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 City and County of Swansea’s Corporate Building and Property Services department has developed a “cradle to grave” strategy to target apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programmes. This ensures that it has a continual supply of trained staff to deliver services, including housing maintenance, window replacement, gas servicing and other maintenance.
Over the past year, it has recruited 17 apprentices and has taken on a further 12 for 2014/2015, with 40 apprentices currently working for the authority. Over the past five years, 47 apprentices have been recruited.
“We have a key objective to achieve and maintain a 10 per cent ratio of apprentice/ tradesperson,” said Emma Lewis, policy and programming officer. “We have managed to replace 30 per cent of our trade workforce with ex-apprentices and we’ve had a retention rate of 85 per cent of the 120 recruited apprentices over the 10 year period since we began the Apprenticeship Programme.”
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 the City and County of Swansea share the Welsh Government’s commitment to vocational training.”
More than 300 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.