Young talent helps boosts business expansion at Port Talbot award finalist

Posted on by karen.smith

Destek Accessible Technology Solutions’ co-director Andrea Kennedy with staff Robert Williams, Roy Davies, Kelly-Marie Roberts and Lewis Owen.

Destek Accessible Technology Solutions’ co-director Andrea Kennedy with staff Robert Williams, Roy Davies, Kelly-Marie Roberts and Lewis Owen.

A Port Talbot business, which is expanding into new areas and new countries thanks to the young talent it’s taken on, is in contention to win a major award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2015.

Destek Accessible Technology Solutions is one of three finalists in the Small Employer of the Year category at the high profile awards ceremony to be held at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Thursday, October 29.

The coveted awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have exceeded expectations, shown a dynamic approach to training and demonstrated initiative, enterprise, innovation, creativity and commitment to the improvement of skills development for the Welsh economy.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and media partner is Media Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme, led by the Welsh Government, is supported by the European Social Fund.
Destek Accessible Technology Solutions provides advice on accessibility and ensures companies comply with disability laws. This includes accessibility in web, software and mobile technologies as well as buildings.

It has a team of eight employees, as well as two Apprentices working towards their BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Customer Service, with a third having started last month (September 2015).

Co-director Andrea Kennedy said: “We’re very proud to have a great team with a range of disabilities along with a huge range of skillsets. The skills required to work within our industry are rare and we use a lot of consultants.

“We wanted to train our own specialists and create local jobs. Working with training provider, Rathbone, we’ve developed an Apprenticeship programme that provides core skills as well as specific skills in digital accessibility.

“Our apprentices are technical by nature and often find face-to-face activity daunting; the programme we have developed helps to give them confidence. One young man has gained so much confidence he’ll soon be part of a team delivering courses in Cyprus and Turkey.

“We’re ensuring that Wales leads the way in digital accessibility and intend to continue producing top quality consultants.”

Karen Weber from Rathbone Cymru said: “Destek is giving young people many opportunities through Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeships. Trainers are able nurture, support and encourage each individual to gain experience, confidence and new skills.”

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Julie James congratulated Destek Accessible Technology Solutions and the other 36 award finalists. “We have some truly exceptional apprentices here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements,” she said.

“Equally important are the training providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their apprentices. Developing skilled young people is vital for our economy. The Welsh Government is committed to training programmes such as Apprenticeships but investment must be a shared responsibility with the education sector, businesses and individuals.”

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