Urdd shortlisted for national apprenticeship award

Posted on by karen.smith

Urdd Gobaith Cymru apprentice Liam Higgins with manager Mari Williams.

Urdd Gobaith Cymru, one of Wales’ leading children’s and youth organisations, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national apprenticeship award.

The organisation is a finalist in the Medium 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.

Urdd Gobaith Cymru, which promotes the use of the Welsh language, provides a range of opportunities through clubs, schools and community groups. The organisation had not considered an Apprenticeship Programme until just over a year ago, believing it would be of no benefit due to the small number of fully trained staff it employed.

However, after introducing a programme with training provider Babcock, the Urdd has grown and developed its range of activities in more community areas..

“We have taken on 10 apprentices over the past year and this has helped us to address youth unemployment,” said Gary Lewis, the Urdd’s sports director. “Some of the apprentices are still in school and this allows them the opportunity of employment for when they leave school,”

“The Apprenticeship Programme will provide the Urdd with improvements and growth throughout the organisation and grow our provision of community services throughout Wales to reach more children and young people.”

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 the Urdd 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 Culinary Team Wales.

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