Autumn has brought some heart-warming headlines on the skillscape of South East Wales, with Apprenticeships Awards Cymru 2022 celebrating seven CCR-based winners … our FE Colleges establishing Employment & Enterprise Bureaus for budding entrepreneurs … CITB Wales announce a £780k investment to extend its revolutionary Onsite Experience Hubs project … 2B Enterprising and Redrow bring enterprise skills to life for school pupils in Caerleon … and Welsh Government commit a further £3m to Digital and Green reskilling…
Apprenticeships Awards Cymru 2022 celebrate CCR-based winners
Last week’s prestigious Apprenticeships Awards Cymru 2022 brought together 23 finalists from across Wales, all of whom have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship Programme – with seven of the nine awards being secured by apprentices, employers or learning providers based in the CCR.
Keira Dwyer, 24, from Rhydyfelin, Pontypridd, was named Apprentice of the Year, having achieved a series of qualifications on her programme, working with Sheppards Pharmacy in Abercynon; while Chrystalla Moreton, 20, from Fairwater, Cardiff, who works for reinforced steel manufacturer Celsa Steel UK, scooped the Tomorrow’s Talent Award.
Jayne Williams, 58, from Newport, won the Higher Apprentice of the Year Award, being recognised for her outstanding work in helping train 690 colleagues within HM Courts & Tribunals Service, via online workshops – and digital internal quality assurer Angelina Mitchell, 28, who works for training provider ACT in Cardiff, was named Work-based Learning Practitioner of the Year.
Llantrisant-based FSG Tool and Die was named Medium Employer of the Year – the latest award for a company that is developing an international reputation for the exceptional skills of apprentices who have helped improved the company’s manufacturing efficiency by six per cent – while the Large Employer of the Year Award went to Kepak Group Limited in Merthyr Tydfil, which has created its own team of internal trainers, to develop the next generation of skilled employees.
The award for Macro Employer of the Year went to Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, which has launched an industry-leading apprenticeship programme to nurture specialist healthcare professionals with the skills to meet the future challenges posed by an ageing Welsh population, though a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Health Care Science – the first of its kind in Wales – delivered in partnership with Educ8 Training.
£3m inclusive skills investment in the Welsh Digital and Green sectors
October saw a new £3m investment in digital and net zero skills for people on lower incomes and those whose jobs are at risk – through the Welsh Government-funded Personal Learning Accounts (PLA) programme that’s designed to help people aged 19+ improve their skills and employment prospects.
PLA’s support people to learn new skills, achieve new qualifications and help reshape their careers – and the latest investment in digital and green skills pathways open up valuable opportunities to enjoy careers in two of the most in-demand employment sectors in our Region, through free and flexible courses that are available at 13 colleges across Wales.
The sectors supported will be construction, energy, engineering and manufacturing – with £1m used to train people in areas including cyber, programming, data analysis, network and cloud infrastructure, database management, and digital analysis skills; and a further £2m invested to support people in either upskilling or reskilling in net zero skills, helping Wales develop the workforce needed to win the race the zero.
To date, over £51m has been invested and almost 30,000 adults have benefited since Personal Learning Accounts launched in 2019, with over 16,000 people enrolling within the last academic year alone.
FE Colleges establish Employment & Enterprise Bureaus for budding entrepreneurs
New Welsh Government funding means that every further education college in our Region – and the whole of Wales – will have a dedicated Employment & Enterprise Bureau to help young people prepare for the world of work, by supporting them to find a job or set up their own business.
The enhanced Bureaus are an integral part of the Young Person’s Guarantee, a pioneering programme introduced this year to provide everyone under the age of 25 and living in Wales with the support they need to gain a place in education, training, work, self-employment – or starting their own business.
The Employment & Enterprise bureaus will be delivered by the FE colleges in collaboration with key partners, including Regional Skills Partnerships, Careers Wales and Working Wales – helping young people plan and build their future through learning pathways such as Jobs Growth Wales+, Apprenticeships and Big Ideas Wales.
An entrepreneurship champion in each FE will be a key feature of the Bureaus – helping provide one-to-one advice and guidance, being on hand to encourage entrepreneurial aspirations; and playing a frontline role in nurturing the business minds needed to grow the SME economy of our Region.
CITB Wales announce £780k investment to extend Onsite Experience Hubs project
Funding of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Wales’ Onsite Experience Hubs – a project which has seen 524 people become ‘site ready’ in just 18 months – has been extended to 2025.
The £780,000 additional funding will enable 780 more people to gain invaluable skills and experience, through a two-week ‘live’ work experience programme that opens up a wide range of opportunities in construction.
Onsite Hubs are designed to take away the barriers to construction employment, with four centres operating in Wales as part of a £9.5m UK-wide scheme, managed by a network of local training providers – with two locations in the Welsh capital, led by Cardiff Council and Kier Construction.
People from all walks of life can apply to do the two week programme (which includes a HS&E test and level 1 Health & Safety Award), with work experience gained on live sites, giving job seekers real first-hand experience, enabling local employers to hire suitable candidates once the placement is complete.
‘Inclusion’ is at the heart of the Hubs. Construction has experienced a ‘missing generation’, with relatively few people below the age of 40 coming into the industry – so the extension of this funding will play an important part in creating a work-ready pipeline to meet the needs of local construction employers, enabling the industry to have a skilled, competent and inclusive workforce, now and in the future.
2B Enterprising and Redrow bring enterprise skills to life for children of Caerleon
Year 2 pupils from Charles Williams Church in Wales Primary School are learning valuable lessons in enterprise, leadership, resilience and communication, thanks to a new partnership between 2B Enterprising and Redrow.
No fewer than 28 pupils from the Caerleon-based school are taking part in the ‘Bumbles of Honeywood’ programme and have had their first lesson in networking at the start of the new school year – learning the importance of networking and how to introduce themselves with confidence.
The highly creative and thought provoking ‘Bumbles’ storybooks are accompanied by physical and digital resources for primary school teachers, to support the development of enterprise skills in the classroom.
Pupils between the ages of 4-8 from over 200 primary schools across England and Wales are currently taking part in the programme – looking to inspire the next generation of ambitious, healthy, ethical and enterprising citizens who confidently make decisions, communicate effectively and contribute positively to their community.