Worforce development key to building better communities

Posted on by karen.smith

Newport City Homes (NCH), which provides services to over 10,000 residents, leaseholders and shared owners in the city, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

The company is one of 28 finalists in nine categories of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW).

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru recognise the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality Apprenticeships across Wales. Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes in Wales are part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

The winners will be announced at a high profile awards presentation ceremony at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Wednesday, October 24, where the winners of the National Training Awards for Wales will also be recognised. The joint awards which will be attended by around 300 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales.

Sponsor of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which aim to showcase excellence in skills development in Wales, is Pearson and media partner is Media Wales.

NCH, a finalist in the Large Employer of the Year category, believes the development of its workforce is crucial not only for the business, but to build better communities. The company hosts apprentices within its own business as well as placing them with trusted contractors.

“Our Apprenticeship programme is one that seeks to engage and inspire individuals into a career in construction,” said Frances Maclean, Apprentice Co-ordinator.

“By offering the opportunity of employment to local people, coupled with a nationally recognised qualification, candidates will be equipped with realistic and relevant experience, allowing them to excel in their chosen field,” added John Harrhy, NCH Board Member.

NCH apprentices gain experience with internal teams and external contractors to ensure they receive as wide an experience as possible. In addition to gaining Apprenticeship qualifications, they are encouraged to go on and become fully qualified tradespeople.

With a dedicated Apprentice Co-ordinator to manage the NCH Apprentice scheme, personal development and a review process ensures individual objectives, training needs and targets for future development are regularly discussed and delivered.

The company, which currently has 34 apprentices, holds regular apprentice meetings, training events and staff conferences, as well as engaging and interacting with colleges and training providers on the progress of apprentices to ensure best results and experiences are achieved.

NCH, which has employed 48 apprentices over the past five years, is also working with Coleg Gwent and Construction Skills to achieve a first for the sector by delivering a Maintenance Apprenticeship, which until now has had a framework but no vehicle for college delivery.

Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said: “These awards recognise excellence by individuals, employers and learning providers in delivering training. I am delighted with the standard of this year’s finalists and the variety across all ages and sectors, which shows the strength of the skills being delivered in Wales.

“All the finalists have an inspiring story to tell and are great ambassadors for apprenticeship and other programmes in Wales.

“The skills acquired through programmes, such as Apprenticeships, provide great benefits to individuals and employers, helping make Welsh businesses more competitive.

“The Welsh Government is committed to creating more apprenticeship opportunities for young people in Wales and continuing to support employers who are willing to offer high quality apprenticeship places.”

The NTfW is a network 116 quality assured work based training providers with links to 35,000 employers across Wales.

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