Today marks the start of National Apprenticeship Week – a celebration of the many different types of apprenticeships on offer to individuals of all ages and backgrounds.
It will be a week that scopes the wide-ranging learning pathways available to people of highly differing ambitions – with today’s apprenticeships opening up careers in everything from Accountancy, Business Administration, Construction, Hairdressing and Social Care, to engineering roles in Cybersecurity, IT, Manufacturing, and even Semiconductors.
Every apprenticeship – from Foundation Level 2 to the Level 6 Degree qualification – offers a tremendous opportunity to “earn as you learn”, working alongside expert mentors in supportive environments, unlocking potential by providing training that’s geared to the needs of the individual apprentice.
And one type of learning – the Shared Apprenticeship that offers the widest possible experience to learners – deserves a special shout out, with Venture supporting the groundbreaking qualifications being provided by Aspire and Y Prentis, here in the Cardiff Capital Region …
Sharing STEM pathways into tech-based careers
The Aspire STEM Shared Apprenticeship Programme is on a mission to enhance the science, technology, engineering and Maths-based skills within Manufacturing and Engineering sectors of South Wales – connecting with the aspirations of young people across the region, providing an inspired apprenticeship pathway designed to both drive business growth and tackle unemployment.
Established in 2015, this trailblazing programme brings together the know-how of partners that include Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Coleg Y Cymoedd, Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone, and leading names in local industry – creating a 2-3 year learning pathway that will see apprentices rotate through a number of different employers, broadening the learner’s experience as they develop the core skills needed to achieve a high-value apprenticeship within the STEM areas of Manufacturing and Engineering.
The programme has already proven itself to be a leading light in providing a platform for young people to access apprenticeship opportunities in the region – winning the ‘Large and Macro Employer of the Year’ Award in both 2019 and 2021, showing an outstanding commitment to support both apprentices and their employees.
Sharing experiences that build careers in Construction
Y Prentis is leading the way in construction-based shared apprenticeships that give people from all backgrounds a wide variety of different experiences: enabling individuals to work on a series of short-term projects with a number of industry-leading companies, empowering people with the confidence and skills to develop in-depth expertise in their chosen trade, on the journey towards qualifying with a highly-valuable apprenticeship.
Established in Monmouthshire in 2012 and funded by both the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Welsh Government, Y Prentis’s unique training model provides a series of short-term projects and insightful work experiences – with an award-winning team ‘always there’ to fully support each individual towards a valuable apprenticeship qualification, in a trade of their choice.
The programme has already produced over 340 qualified apprenticeships, with a 100% success rate for Completer Apprentices moving into full-time employment – partnering with a wide range of high quality and top performing companies from across the Construction and Engineering industries, including Bam, Bouygues, Costain, Kier Group, Laing O’Rourke, Lovell and Wilmot Dixon.
Sharing the same ethos, values and goals
The collaborative spirit of both the Aspire and Y Prentis programmes extend to a close partnership with CCR’s Venture Graduate Programme – with Andrew Bevan, Team Leader of Apprenticeships & Skills at Aspire explaining: “Working with the Venture Graduate Programme means we can help businesses across South East Wales raise their aspirations and fill future skills gaps”, and Darryl Williams, Programme Manager at Y Prentis, noting “we all have the same ethos, values and goals in supporting people into meaningful training and employment.
“The collaborative approach will allow three programmes to combine their strengths and expertise, helping deliver sustainable careers that enable people to secure paid employment that provides a strong future for themselves and their families.”
Jared Green, the Aspire SAP Project Coordinator for Merthyr, explains how those values are shared across a number of providers: “Aspire Merthyr Tydfil partners with organisations such as Aspire BG, Cardiff and Vale College, Tydfil Training and The College Merthyr Tydfil – and it’s also a real honour to work with the Venture Graduate team in driving forward both the Shared Apprenticeship Programmes and Venture Graduate Scheme.
“There’s a real sense of togetherness within the three teams and, as a collective, we’ll be focusing on encouraging businesses to embrace both apprentices and graduates to fill the skill gaps that are apparent in various sectors of the South East Wales region.”
What better way to mark National Apprenticeship Week than celebrating the coming together of three pioneering programmes that are working together to bring employment and a future-proofed economy to our Region?
Get involved and find out more by going to www.venturewales.org.