The 1765 sqft space in a Grade II listed building on Wind Street will be home to five permanent members of staff and provide facilities for up to 60 learners. The centre hopes to create new jobs within the local community and attract young people in Neath and surrounding areas who may be at odds with their future.
Itec, a leading Wales-wide training provider for 40 years, provides life-changing opportunities to young people and aims to get thousands of teens into work through the Welsh Government’s Jobs Growth Wales+ programme in the next five years.
The new Neath office will be used as a space for local learners to access to learn new skills and gain qualifications and employment opportunities such as retail, hairdressing and barbering, customer service, childcare and business and IT.
The brand-new facilities at the Itec centre include: a chill out room where learners can spend time to relax and socialise, two large training rooms and a dedicated room for one-to-one coaching for learners and their tutors.
The centre will be led by former international rugby referee and Itec area manager for Neath, Hugh Watkins, who has joined Itec to help grow the organisation across Neath, Swansea and West Wales.
“Mental health and wellbeing is at the forefront of the design of the new space in Neath as evidence is showing that after two years of living through a pandemic, this is what our young learners need most, alongside helping them take the first step on the career ladder.
“We’ve had an amazing reception from learners since we announced we were creating a base in Neath and are looking forward to helping of them on their journey into the world of work, making a real difference to employment prospects and opportunities in the area.
“Whether a young person knows what they want to do or needs the support to help them think about taking the next steps, we can build a tailored programme of support that is individual to them. That might be helping them build their qualifications, organising work experience or even offering the support they need to start thinking about career opportunities and what comes next for them.”
Jobs Growth Wales+ gives 16-18 year olds living in Wales, the skills, qualifications and experience they need to kick start their career, with support to get into learning at a higher level, an apprenticeship or employment.
Julie Dyer, ITEC Skills and Employment’s head of operations, said,
“Our new Neath centre is the start of what will be a life changing development for young people in the area – creating real opportunities for their future.
“We’ve been really impressed by the response from local businesses with employers from across the area already actively engaged with the centre, showing the demand for young people to fill vacancies and train with local companies – it’s an exciting time for the area.”
Itec employs 180 people across 15 offices in Cardiff, Newport, Cwmbran, Blackwood, Pontypridd, Bridgend, Swansea, Monmouth, Barry, Aberdare, Brynmawr and Neath.