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Health Board Wins Prestigious Award for Pioneering Apprenticeship

Bwrdd Iechyd yn Ennill Gwobr o Fri am Brentisiaeth Arloesol

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A Welsh health board which has pioneered an industry-leading apprenticeship programme to produce the next generation of specialist healthcare professionals has won a coveted national award.

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board (CTM), which introduced the programme to meet future challenges posed by an ageing Welsh population, was named the Macro Employer of the Year at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022.

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board’s learning and development business partner for qualifications Rhian Lewis with laboratory apprentices Gerrard Fletcher, Sian Yearsley and Kirsty Griffiths.

With 553 staff having accessed an apprenticeship qualification, and 215 currently employed in permanent positions, the programme is bearing fruit.

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru recognise the outstanding achievements, during unprecedented times, of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.

Highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, the awards are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) and headline sponsor Openreach.

Rhian Lewis, CTM’s learning and development business partner for qualifications, said:

“This award is a gold stamp for the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board to show how we are making our pathways so much easier for our people, and also a massive thank you for the work I do. Everyone is absolutely thrilled.

“I am so passionate about apprenticeships because they make such a difference to people’s lives. It’s brilliant to see people qualify and go on to achieve so much more in their career.”

With 15,000 staff, CTM is a major South Wales employer, providing primary, community, hospital and mental health services to 450,000 people living in the Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf boroughs.

After identifying that one in four people in Wales will be aged 65 and over by 2036, CTM evolved its strategy four years ago to embrace work-based learning to broaden its recruitment opportunities.

Among its numerous apprenticeship offerings, CTM last year launched the Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Health Care Science (HCS) in partnership with training provider, Educ8 Training.

The apprenticeship is the first of its kind in Wales that bridges the gap from a Level 3 health related qualification to allowing the learner to access a degree and become a registered scientist.

The Level 4 qualification supports learners into assistant audiology, blood science and clinical engineering roles, to name but a few. While the programme is running across the whole of Wales, it has been led by the CTM team.

Apprenticeships are also offered in partnership with Talk Training and ACT Training, but CTM has aligned with Educ8 to develop bespoke apprenticeships that are relevant to both the health board and the individual.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated CTM and all the other award winners and finalists.

“This Welsh Government has ambitious plans to make Wales an engine for sustainable, inclusive growth and give every young person the best possible start in the world of work,” he said.

“I believe apprenticeships are vital to this vision and that’s why we are investing £366 million over the next three years in the delivery of our apprenticeship programme. I am determined we do all we can as a government to help deliver the long-term economic benefits our young people deserve.

“We are a small country but we have big ambitions, and our aim is to foster a culture in Wales where recruiting an apprentice is the norm for employers.”

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund. For more information about recruiting an apprentice, visit:  https://gov.wales/apprenticeships-genius-decision or call 03000 603000.