From education to employment

Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week

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Coleg Cymraeg Apprenticeship Ambassadors encourage others to do an apprenticeship and to use their Welsh in the workplace.

Elliot Wigfall from Pontypridd is an electrical apprentice with social landlord, Trivallis, in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area.

While working towards his NVQ Level 3 in electrical work with Coleg y Cymoedd, he was selected to be one of this year’s Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Apprenticeship Ambassadors. The role of the ambassador is to promote the benefits of the Welsh language in the apprenticeship field.

In his spare time, Elliot is one of Gogglebocs Cymru’s contributors on S4C! As someone who lives every aspect of his life through the Welsh language, it was a natural step for him to work through the medium of Welsh in the future.

Elliot said,

“I spend a lot of time in people’s homes, and if you speak Welsh, it makes a big difference, especially in this area where not many people can speak it. Every day is different, and an apprenticeship is a good way to learn and get qualifications, while also getting paid.”

After leaving school to achieve a Level 2 NVQ in Health and Social Care, Kathryn Steven, 25, from Cardiff, got a job in a Mental Health department in a hospital. She is now working towards a Level 3 NVQ in Health and Social Care with ACT Training. Kathryn enjoys the flexibility that an apprenticeship offers. Kathryn said:

“I really enjoy my apprenticeship because I work most of the time and do an online course with the support of a mentor. I recently discovered I had ADHD which explains why I found it difficult to concentrate . I now feel I have things under control – I can choose when I do the work around my shifts, and I’m very passionate about raising awareness for the Welsh language in the healthcare sector”

The best advice Guto Wyn Roberts, a 17-year-old Apprentice from Llechryd gives to other young people is to keep an open mind about their education after leaving school. Guto is now undertaking an apprenticeship to become a carpenter with Coleg Ceredigion and a local building company, Steven Edwards. Guto said:

“I love the freedom that comes with doing an apprenticeship. I also fee lucky that I can speak Welsh every day with my colleagues and with clients at work, and in college.”

It was by chance that Dewi Richards-Darch considered the opportunity to do an apprenticeship, having taken an interest in work that a local construction company was doing next to his home. Dewi now works for an ITEC training provider as a Curriculum Manager, and is working towards NVQ Level 4 in Leadership and Management through his employer. He said:

“Since starting my apprenticeship, I haven’t looked back, and have managed to develop many valuable skills in a short period of time. I would encourage everyone to consider doing an apprenticeship.”

Many apprentices beyond our ambassadors are benefitting from studying part of their apprenticeship through the medium of Welsh, such as Tomos Tudor Jones from Anglesey. Tomos decided to do an apprenticeship during lockdown when he started working with his father who is a builder. Tomos is now an Engineering apprentice with Jones Brothers in Ruthin and has had great experiences working through the medium of Welsh on a project on his doorstep. He said:

“My first experience was working on a tidal flow energy project, ‘Menter Môn Morlais’. This was one of the first schemes of its kind, and it was an amazing experience to play a small part in the process. I was a little nervous at first but everyone was so friendly. Being able to chat and learn through the medium of Welsh made the experience so much nicer, especially with me being so close to home.”

For more information on apprenticeships visit the Coleg Cymraeg website.

Also employers and/or further education colleges can nominate a talented apprentice who has starred in the workplace and has a bright future ahead them for the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol New Talent Award in memory of Gareth Pierce 2024. Visit the Coleg’s website for full details and to nominate an individual before the 8 March.

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