Wales Celebrates Benefits of Apprenticeships
The chairman of the National Training Federation Wales (NTFW) is calling on people in all walks of life within the nation to help raise the profile of apprenticeships.
Making the rallying call on the eve of National Apprenticeship Week 2011 from Monday, February 7- 11, Arwyn Watkins said: “Businesses across Wales are now increasingly realising the enormous benefits that apprenticeships create, not only in terms of a highly skilled workforce but also by boosting productivity and staff retention.
“Research shows they are an optimal way of training, developing and skilling people for the future, helping businesses to secure a supply of people with the skills and qualities they need and which are often not available on the external job market.
“Our aim is to highlight the talents and skills of Wales’ 17,000 apprentices and celebrate the value of apprenticeships in a huge range of different sectors.
“We want apprentices, employers, providers, parents, stakeholders and learners all to get involved by helping to spread the word. Apprenticeships benefit the individual, the employer and the economy of Wales and we have some fantastic success stories to tell.
“The education system has a key role to play in making young people aware of apprenticeships as one of the exciting options available to them when they leave school or college.
“It’s all about the smooth transition from education to employment. The danger is when young people are out of that system, it is difficult to get them back. Currently, the average age of an apprentice in Wales is 26 and we need to bring this down to 22 to have the optimum impact.
“We are fortunate that the Welsh Assembly Government recognises apprenticeships as one of its flagship programmes. The NTfW is also playing its part by achieving the UK’s best apprenticeship framework completion rate, some four per cent ahead of England.”
He stressed that many employers in Wales were now looking to “grow their own” workers through apprenticeships.
The Welsh Assembly Government believes apprenticeships fuel the future essential skills base of our nation, inspire success in the individual and bring huge benefits to the workplace. A massive 81 per cent of businesses say employing apprentices makes their workplace more productive.
Apprenticeships in Wales are open to everyone, whether you are a young learner, or want to change your career pathway. You can learn on the job and get extra skills from a training provider.
National Apprenticeship Week aims to demonstrate that an apprenticeship is a fantastic way to start and progress a successful career. Companies will be highlighting how and why apprenticeships are good for their business.
The NTFW comprises 97 quality assured training providers with links to 35,000 employers across Wales.