A Cardiff-based property service company is supporting a Welsh Government campaign to raise awareness of the wide range of recruitment and training support available to help businesses recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ian Williams is the UK’s largest property service company with Welsh sites in Cardiff and Wrexham, operating across the nation offering refurbishment and improvement to homes and businesses. The Welsh Government apprenticeships programme, delivered through CITB Training, has become an integral to the organisation’s long-term recruitment and growth plan.
Jo Down, academy officer at Ian Williams, said:
“We have apprentices working across all our major departments. From painting and decorating to response and asset management and administrative roles, our apprentices receive training across all divisions to ensure that all there is growth and longevity across the board.”
Businesses of all sizes and across all sectors are eligible to take part in Wales’ Apprenticeship Programme. The Welsh Government provides fully funded apprenticeship routes in 23 sectors available at four levels to suit individual business needs. The skills and training provided on these routes are tailored to fit each workplace and its requirements.
Businesses can access apprenticeships and other Welsh Government funded training and recruitment support to help them grow and invest in their workforce through Skills Gateway. Welsh Government has launched the ‘We’re in Your Corner’ campaign to make sure businesses in Wales are aware of the support that is available to them so they can access the right programme for their needs.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Ian Williams has seen continued demand and growth. As a result, the company has taken on a further 19 apprentices to support its busy teams.
“We’ve been lucky to remain busy throughout the pandemic, which has meant we’ve been in the fortunate position to be able to continue taking on apprentices. They are so important to our business in the long term, and in the short term our teams were very grateful for the extra pairs of hands, so it made sense for us to continue working with them – especially with the funding available through the apprenticeship scheme.”
“Our apprentices have impressed us so much since joining that we’ve put some of them forward for national awards. The fresh talent and their ability to adapt to and understand new technologies in the face of an aging workforce has been invaluable. Through our apprentices, our long-standing employees have been able to pass down a lifetime of skills and knowledge to ensure that the industry continues to thrive long after they’ve chosen to retire.”
To support the Welsh economy in recovering from the impact of COVID-19, Welsh Government is investing in jobs and training to help businesses survive and grow, and to meet the needs of Wales’ changing economic landscape.
Economy, Transport and North Wales Minister Ken Skates said:
“The past 12 months will have been the most challenging many of us have ever faced. It’s vital that businesses know the Welsh Government is in their corner, and that support is available for those who need it.
“Our package of business support is the most generous support package in the UK. It has seen more than £2bn made available to businesses across Wales, protecting thousands of firms and many more jobs.
“We are also investing £40m in our Covid Commitment to provide free and subsidised training, grants to enable businesses to bring in the new talent and skills, and expert advice from Business Wales advisers who can recommend training and recruitment support tailored to individual business needs. This has been crucial in incentivising employers to recruit and retain 5,000 apprentices.
“As we continue to navigate these difficult and uncertain times, we will do all we can to back Welsh businesses and workers. This includes planning for what comes next. I have launched a new Economic Resilience and Reconstruction Mission which offers grounded optimism for the future and will help our people, businesses and communities to succeed and flourish amid a backdrop of incredibly challenging circumstances.
“I know that we can succeed in building a prosperous and fair economy and future that works better for everyone.”