Spring 2022 arrived with news that two Cardiff-headquartered learning providers will deliver the pivotal Jobs Growth Wales+ programme … two Southeast Wales-based apprentices have made it through the semifinals of the Screwfix Trade Apprenticeship Competition … Wales’ first-ever National StartUp Awards finalists have been revealed … and there was a welcome pay boost for millions of workers as National Minimum and Living Wage rates increase …
Learning Providers to Deliver Wales’ New Jobs Programme for Young Adults
Two leading CCR work-based learning providers will be helping to deliver the new Jobs Growth Wales+ programme for young people – a key part of Welsh Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee, which offers a bespoke package of support to help 16-18 year olds develop their skills and work experience in line with employers’ needs to help them secure their first job.
ACT and ITEC Skills and Employment, both headquartered in Cardiff, have been awarded contracts to deliver the new programme alongside Pembrokeshire College, Coleg Cambria and Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.
The programme offers a holistic approach to each learner’s journey – based on Engagement, Advancement and Employment – aiming to equip young people with the skills, qualifications and experience needed to either progress to employment, an apprenticeship or the opportunity to learn at a higher level.
Key actions include work placements, work trials, community projects, voluntary work, centre-based learning opportunities and completion of qualifications ranging from entry level to level two.
Each job offered by an employer must be between 16 and 40 hours a week, for a minimum of six months – with the employer committing to retain the employee after six months.
The Welsh Government will pay up to half the employment costs at the National Minimum Wage for the first six months – with employers receiving ongoing, tailored training support from a designated learning provider, plus free recruitment advice.
To be eligible for Jobs Growth Wales+, young people must be aged between 16-18 years old, not in full-time education, employment or training (NEET) and living in Wales.
Two CCR trailblazers in semi-final of Trade Apprenticeship Competition
Two apprentices from Newport and Pontypridd are both a step closer to winning the title of Screwfix Trade Apprentice 2022.
Elliot Wigfall, an apprentice electrician from Pontypridd and Jack Thompson, an apprentice carpenter from Newport, applied for the competition earlier this year and have now been selected to go through to the semi-final, together with more than thirty other apprentices.
Following the semi-final, 10 apprentices will face a panel of industry experts at the national final in April, where one winner will receive a career-boosting £10,000 prize package made up of tools, trade and tech – everything to get started in their chosen field.
Elliot and Jack were both shortlisted for their passion, dedication and ambition – and during the final will enjoy the opportunity to share their expertise and ambitions with a panel of industry-leading judges – including representatives from the Federation of Master Builders, the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting and a previous Screwfix Top Tradesperson winner.
Jack Wallace, Screwfix marketing director, highlighted the importance of apprenticeships to the UK’s construction sector: “Apprenticeships remain vital to the construction industry and our annual competition looks to reward skilled trade apprentices as well as showcasing the countless opportunities offered by the construction industry. From over 2,500 entries, our semi-finalists have done incredibly well to get this far. They’re an inspiration to the future generation, spotlighting the benefits of a career in the trade.”
Wales’ First Ever National StartUp Awards Finalists Revealed
Wales’ most exciting new businesses have been shortlisted as part of a brand new UK-wide awards programme.
The StartUp Awards National Series has been launched to recognise the booming startup scene across the UK, which has accelerated beyond recognition since the pandemic began.
In 2020, when most of the world was shutting down, more than 400,000 startups were set up in Britain, with similar increases seen in other European countries.
This marked boost in newfound entrepreneurship is mirrored by a huge 2,500 applications which have been received in response to the Startup Awards National Series’ first ever call for entries.
The Wales startups that made the shortlist are a true snapshot of the future economy, with a collective turnover of over £18m and employing 587 people between them. Of the region’s great passion for entrepreneurship, one finalist said: “It is our belief that any business should be proud to class themselves as a Welsh business. The Welsh economy is being built on the grounds of up-and-coming local entrepreneurs and it is a fantastic feeling to know we are a part of this.”
The cohort of finalists announced last week will be considered for the regional prizes by a panel of seasoned judges with experience of founding or supporting entrepreneurial ventures. This includes Wales-based Richard Theo, CEO and co-founder of Wealthify, Rachael Flanagan, founder of Mrs Buckét, and Geryn Evans of Project Blue, a previous Wales StartUp Awards winner.
Co-founded by the team behind the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, the new series follows the success of the Wales StartUp Awards, after organisers recognised the exceptional potential in the startup scene across the other British regions.
Pay Boost for Millions as National Minimum and Living Wage rises
Millions of workers in Wales and the UK received a pay increase last week, as the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rise came into effect.
The uplift in wages, which will benefit around 2.5 million people, includes the largest ever increase to the National Living Wage, putting £1,000 a year more into full-time workers’ pay packets.
That means the yearly earnings of a full-time worker on the National Living Wage will have increased by over £5,000 since being introduced in April 2016; with further statistics showing the current number of employees on the payroll increasing by more than 600,000 when compared with pre-pandemic levels – and unemployment falling to 3.9% nationally.
To find out more about the latest news in Skills & Talent across Southeast Wales, go to www.venturewales.org