The latest in Skills & Talent across Southeast Wales


September saw seriously strong developments on the skillscape of Southeast Wales, with Creative Wales unveiling its Creative Skills Action Plan … 17 CCR-based finalists being nominated at Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022 Cardiff University win Welsh University of the Year, 2023 … Energizer in Ebbw Vale celebrate the Flexible Skills Programme … and UKGov launch the Boardroom Apprenticeship Programme


Creative Skills Action Plan launched to nurture Creative Talent in CCR and across Wales

A new Creative Skills Action plan for 2022-2025, backed by a £1million fund, has been launched by the Welsh Government to help develop Wales’ current and future talent in the three key areas of TV & Film, Music and Digital Content.

The Creative Industries (one of CCR’s priority sectors) is hugely important to the Welsh economy and culture as a whole – employing 35,400 people in 3,423 creative businesses throughout Wales (an increase of 6.4% from 2018), generating an annual turnover of £1.7 billion in 2021 (an increase of 14% from 2017).

The new plan will be delivered by Creative Wales, the Welsh Government’s creative agency, offering £15,000-£200,000 funding of projects that deliver high-quality skills and training, with key aims that include:

  • Ensuring TV & Film, Music and Digital Content are integrated into the classroom at an early age, making the creative industries a realistic and viable career choice for young people.
  • Providing inclusive opportunities for people who want to enter the creative industries in Wales – developing a creative workforce which reflects all communities in Wales.
  • Addressing the disconnect between the industry’s employment needs and the skills of young people leaving education.

The Creative Skills Action Plan has been shaped by a Creative Skills Advisory Panel made up of 10 industry experts; and will be particularly aligned to the Young Person’s Guarantee that gives everyone under 25 the offer of work, education, training or self-employment, as part of the creation of 125,000 all-age apprenticeships.


CCR Finalists announced for Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022

The shortlisted finalists for this year’s prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru have been announced – after a distinguished judging panel had the difficult task of whittling down the large number of quality applications received for nine different awards, leaving no fewer than17 CCR-based nominees as finalists, in the following categories:


Foundation Apprentice of the Year:

  • Olivia Headley-Grant, Barry (Training Provider: Cardiff and Vale College)

Apprentice of the Year:

  • Keira Dwyer, Rhydyfelin (Training Provider: Health Education and Improvement Wales)
  • James Matthewman, Maesteg (Training Provider: Bridgend College)

Higher Apprentice of the Year:

  • Michelle Gaskell, Abergavenny (Training Provider: ALS Training)
  • Jayne Williams, Newport (Training Provider: ACT)

Small and Medium Employers of the Year:

  • FSG Tool and Die, Llantrisant (Training Provider: TSW Training)
  • Si Lwli, Whitchurch, Cardiff (Training Provider, Educ8)

Large and Macro Employers of the Year:

  • Celsa Steel UK, Cardiff (Training Provider: TSW)
  • Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, Pontypridd (Training Provider: Educ8)
  • Kepak Group, Merthyr Tydfil (Training Provider: Cambrian Training)
  • Persimmon Homes West (Training Provider: Bridgend College)

Work-based Learning Practitioner of the Year:

  • Angelina Mitchell, ACT, Cardiff.
  • Hayley Walters, Itec Training Solutions, Cardiff.
  • Victoria Morris, Educ8, Ystrad Mynach.

Tomorrow’s Talent:

  • Anya O’Callaghan, Spirit Hair Team, Ystrad Mynach (Training Provider: Educ8)
  • Chrystalla Moreton, Celsa Steel, Cardiff (Training Provider: TSW)
  • Evan Coombs, Aspire Blaenau Gwent (Training Provider: Coleg y Cymoedd)


Organised by Welsh Government, supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) and headline sponsored by Openreach, these industry-leading awards represent the highlight of the year for apprentices, work-based learning providers and many employers, with the winners to be announced at a virtual ceremony to be held on November 10, 2022.  


Cardiff University wins Welsh University of the Year, 2023

Cardiff University has retained the title of “Welsh University of the Year” in the latest The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.

Published in mid-September, the much-respected Guide also sees the University jump ten places to 25th spot among 135 UK universities, a tremendous achievement given the exceptional challenges faced by staff and students during the pandemic.

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 also highlights that Cardiff University remains in the top 20 for graduate prospects, based on a post-grad survey of those in highly-skilled work or further study – while the university enjoyed further recognition for achieving the top two ratings of ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for 90% of its work submitted to the latest Research Excellence Framework.

The Guide, which remains one of the most definitive rankings for UK universities, also notes that demand rose by 15% for places on Cardiff’s new programmes introduced in 2021-22.

A fully searchable website with university profiles and 70 subject tables is available  here.


Energizer in Ebbw Vale celebrates 25th birthday – and the Flexible Skills Programme

September saw Economy Minister Vaughan Gething visit Energizer Auto UK in Ebbw Vale to celebrate their quarter century, reaffirming the Welsh Government’s Flexible Skills Programme partnership with a company that has grown and evolved through the pandemic to produce 700 automotive fragrance and appearance products – from fuel additives to car wash products – for customers in 43 different countries.

The Rassau-based success story has adapted their operation and developed their skillsbase to become a 50-strong team, with significant support from the Flexible Skills Programme – a scheme that helps employers develop the technical, professional and leadership skills of their employees.

Energizer works with Coleg Gwent to create new work experience placements and job opportunities in the local area, helping share best practices with other employers through the Valleys Innovation Showcase for Technological Advancement (VISTA) – creating win-wins that help grow a skilled workforce for the whole area.

This inspiring and impactful partnership continues to drive Energizer’s upskilling, enabling the enterprise to increase efficiencies, become more responsive to fluctuations in demand; and look forward to a prosperous future in better health than ever.


New Boardroom Apprenticeship Programme aims to boost C-Suite Diversity

The UK Secretary of State for Levelling-Up, Greg Clark MP, has launched a countrywide pilot Boardroom Apprentice programme to develop aspiring board members across the public and voluntary sectors.

The programme aims to create a pipeline of more diverse talent, regardless of background or education, with the aim of ensuring that public and voluntary sector boardrooms more closely reflect the communities they serve across the UK.

Successful candidates will undertake 12 months of board placements, learning and development, equipping them with the knowledge and practical experience they need to become effective members of C-Suite.

The pilot will build on a successful programme in Northern Ireland that has already seen over 50% of participants appointed to a board position within 12 months of ‘apprenticeship’ completion.


To keep abreast of developments in Skills & Talent across Southeast Wales, visit


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Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) is currently recruiting for two exciting new opportunities in the Executive Team: Strategic Director – Policy, Impact, and Partnerships, and Strategic Director - Legal and Governance. Please note: CCR use RCT Council’s job platform to advertise job opportunities, however all jobs listed on this page are positions employed by CCR. No agencies please.

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