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Alana Spencer supports apprenticeship campaign

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THIS summer, the Welsh Government is helping to support 1,000 brand new apprenticeship vacancies for people of all ages across Wales.

The vacancies, which will be posted on the Apprenticeship Matching Service on the Careers Wales website throughout the summer, will offer young people and adults the chance to secure an exciting career in a wide range of disciplines including ICT, creative industries, construction and STEM, where skill shortages are particularly prevalent.

The job roles will all be apprenticeship opportunities with qualifications to match, with a particular focus on technical and professional skills. Some of the apprenticeships that are available now include journalist, associate scientist, quantity surveyor, ICT and computing, digital and marketing.

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Alana Spencer, 25, winner of BBC One series, The Apprentice in 2016 is a supporter of the Welsh Government apprenticeship programme.

She said:“Young people leaving school are so lucky to have so many opportunities available to them. Apprenticeships have so many great benefits and allow young people to kick-start a career in a field they love, while also gaining some fantastic experience and industry relevant skills and qualifications that will help them to progress their career in the future.

“When I left school at 16 I was adamant that I didn’t want to follow the traditional university route into a job. I also didn’t know anything about apprenticeships at the time so didn’t even consider them as a possible avenue into becoming a chocolatier.

“When I was first starting out I had no-one to teach me so I spent my days learning how to cook by practising and perfecting recipes at home. I would then road test them with family and friends as well as at local events.

“It was exceedingly hard work and really challenging at times but thoroughly rewarding. However, there have been times when I didn’t think I’d make it and would’ve been grateful for the opportunity to get some advice and support as well as some practical, hands-on experience before venturing out alone.

“These days apprenticeships are the perfect answer when it comes to wanting to launch a career in a field you’re passionate about while also obtaining all the tools you need to succeed in the future. They are a win – win for everyone.”

Wales has developed a highly successful apprenticeship programme over recent years. Apprenticeships are increasingly becoming a viable alternative to traditional academic routes into employment, helping people of all ages gain on the job experience while studying for a nationally recognised qualification.

With results day around the corner, the Welsh Government is urging people in Wales to consider how an apprenticeship can be the first step of a worthwhile, skilled career path.

Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, said: “Apprenticeships are the start of an exciting and rewarding career and can benefit anyone of any age, giving them an opportunity to gain practical, on the job experience while gaining all the skills and qualifications they need.

“Apprenticeships are a key investment for employers who can train their workforce in the specialist skills they need within their organisation. Overall, apprenticeships play an important role in increasing the nation’s overall skill set and driving economic growth, making sure that Wales remains competitive on the world stage.

“The Welsh Government is working in conjunction with training providers across Wales to highlight 1000 apprenticeship vacancies in organisations from various sectors within small SMEs to larger global conglomerates over the summer period.

“The job roles available offer all the benefits of an apprenticeship with qualifications to match, and there is a particular focus on improving technical and professional higher level skills. The Welsh Government is rebalancing its investment towards the priority areas that deliver higher returns and the range of opportunities that will be available over the summer reflect this.

“The roles available are open to people of all ages and provide access to high quality training for individuals who want to achieve their full potential. We already have a strong record of quality apprenticeships and our goal is to build on this and offer apprenticeships in sectors that drive growth and prospects of increased earning power.”

For more information about becoming an apprentice, visit careerswales.com and following the apprenticeship link or to find out how your business could benefit from recruiting an apprentice, visit Skills Gateway for Business at https://businesswales.gov.wales/skillsgateway/apprenticeships or call 03000 603000.

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Busy week for Young Ambassadors

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IT’S been a busy few weeks for Ceredigion Sporting Young Ambassadors.

The Silver Young Ambassadors received training during the October half term holidays in readiness to go back to their schools and clubs to deliver sporting activities. The Active Young People Training involved planning, delivering and evaluating sessions and health and safety.

A very important aspect of the course was Disability Inclusion as all activities offered through Ceredigion Actif are inclusive. There are disabled Young Ambassadors involved with various programmes across the county.

Four Gold Young Ambassadors attended the Wales Gold Young Ambassador Conference at Cardiff City Football Stadium. This was an opportunity for Gold Young Ambassadors from around Wales to come together and plan for the year ahead.

Eddie Roper (Ysgol Bro Pedr), Sioned Rimmer, Dwynwen Davies and Elinor Thomas (all Penweddig Comprehensive School) were able to share their ideas and good practices in Ceredigion as well as receive a motivational speech from World Champion Inline Skater, Jenna Dowing. Osian Davies was involved with the planning and running of the day as part of his role on the National Young Ambassador Steering Group. Osian is a Platinum Young Ambassador for Ceredigion.

Alwyn Davies, Active Young People Manager said, “These were two fantastic opportunities for our Young Sporting Leaders in Ceredigion. They have shown great enthusiasm and motivation to become Young Ambassadors and are developing into confident role models in our schools and our community clubs.”

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning Services, Lifelong Learning and Leisure said, “The aim of the training and conference was to enhance confidence in leadership skills of Young Ambassadors around Ceredigion schools. 15 Young Ambassadors attended the Active Young People Training and four Gold Young Ambassadors attended the Gold Young Ambassador National Conference. This is a great opportunity for our young people and I’m very proud of them all.”

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Aspiring hairdresser hoping to shine

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BAYLEY HARRIES will be competing in a prestigious competition which allows young trainees and apprentices the opportunity to show off their skills in a huge variety of vocational careers.

Bayley is a Level 2 Hairdressing apprentice at Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training (HCT). She will be competing in the UK National Regional Heat for Wales which will take place in Wrexham on Monday, 26 November.

The competition is run by World Skills. This is an organisation which aims to inspire young people interested in vocational careers to achieve their full potential in their chosen career route. If successful, Bayley will have an opportunity to compete in the Wales National Final in Cardiff on 16 December.

Carys Randell, hairdressing training advisor at HCT is thrilled to see Bayley taking part in the prestigious skills competition, saying, “We wish Bayley the best of luck at the competition and we would like to say a huge thanks to her employer, Sioned Rees, for all of the fantastic help and support she has given to Bayley in preparation for the competition. She couldn’t have come this far without it.”

Bayley is no stranger to showing off her skills at a competitive level. In 2017, she won the Level 1 hairdressing competition at the Urdd National Eisteddfod. She won again this year, competing in the Level 2 category.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member for Learning Service and Lifelong Learning said, “It’s wonderful to see Bayley come so far with the support of her employer and the staff at HCT. We wish her the very best in the UK National Regional Heat at the end of the month.”

HCT offers a range of vocational courses for people of all ages, including Hairdressing, Childcare, Business Administration, Information Technology, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrics, Blacksmithing, Agriculture, Motor Mechanics, and Welding.

For more information, find ‘Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training’ on Facebook, or visit the website: http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/public-it/hct/index.html

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Apprentices start their career within the county

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FOLLOWING a successful recruitment campaign held over the summer, four young people from Ceredigion recently took their first steps in careers.

The four successful applicants started with Ceredigion County Council in early November as apprentices in Human Resource Business Administration, Social Care and Youth Work.

Alanah Lloyd, Apprentice Human Resource Business Administrator, talked about why she applied and how she is settling in, “I applied because I wanted to gain a qualification and earn a wage at the same time. I wanted to work for the Council where there are opportunities to progress. Everyone has been very supportive and I’m settling in well.”

The newly established apprenticeship programme proved popular, with the Council receiving significant interest and a high level of applications. As one of the largest employers in the area, the Council plans to expand the apprenticeship programme to develop more opportunities for the residents of Ceredigion. The programme aims to provide quality opportunities to young people helping them to earn, learn and develop careers in their home county as an alternative to college and university.

Councillor Ray Quant MBE, Cabinet Member with responsibility for People and Organisation said, “The number of applications and enquiries the Council has received shows the high level of interest in apprenticeship opportunities for the people of Ceredigion. I am delighted to see our four apprentices start and look forward to seeing how they develop over the coming months. The Council is committed into investing in people’s futures.”

The Council will be attending the ‘Ceredigion Careers Festival’ on Tuesday, 19 February at Aberystwyth Arts Centre from 9am to 4pm to talk about apprenticeships and careers. The event is organised by Careers Wales and is open to pupils in Ceredigion from years 9 to 13, and parents are also welcome to attend.

For more information about apprenticeships at Ceredigion County Council, contact on apprentice@ceredigion.gov.uk

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