The challenges of recruiting skilled employees in the increasingly competitive global workplace was a key reason Tata Steel developed its existing apprenticeship programme.
More than 6,300 people are employed at the company’s Wales-based operations, with 211 of these being apprentices. Faced with an ageing workforce, the company needs to ensure it is training and developing skilled employees capable of carrying the mantle in the years to come.
Now Tata Steel is one of the companies shortlisted for this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. The company will be competing to become Macro Employer of the Year at the prestigious awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on October 20.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the coveted awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.
Thirty star learners, employers and learning providers involved in the delivery of successful skills programmes across Wales have been shortlisted for the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.
The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
The awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the outstanding achievements of learners, employers, tutors and assessors who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships and Apprenticeship programmes.
Huw Mathias, training delivery manager at Tata Steel in Port Talbot, said:
“Our aspiration is that all who complete the programme will have a long and successful career in the steel industry and will continue to contribute positively to the Welsh and wider economy.
“These programmes also support the business’ capability agenda and directly support our change programmes through the injection of new talent into the organisation, improving knowledge transfer and succession planning.”
Tata Steel has had an apprenticeship programme in place for more than 50 years. Working with Bridgend College, it currently delivers five frameworks in Engineering Manufacture – Craft and Technician, Higher Apprenticeships in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Level 4 and Life Science and Related Science Industries, Apprenticeship for Laboratory and Science Technicians and Foundation Apprenticeship in Metal Processing and Allied Operations.
Huw explains that the company is benefiting from the programme by having a “ready-made pipeline of talent into the organisation”. The apprentices also benefit by being paid and educated while having key milestones for pay increments linked to their development.
Praising the standard of applicants this year and congratulating Tata Steel on being shortlisted for an award, Skills and Science Minister, Julie James said:
“This year’s shortlisted entrants include exceptional individuals who have excelled in their workplace and learning providers and employers that have gone the extra mile to support the apprentices they are working with. Their stories never cease to amaze and inspire.
“Apprenticeships and vocational skills training are essential ingredients of economic success and vital tools in building a stronger, fairer and more equal Wales.
“These awards provide a perfect platform to celebrate success and reward the hard work and dedication of learners, employers and training providers across Wales. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the night.”