From education to employment

Make a genius decision and recruit an apprentice says training provider

One of the leading training providers in Wales is encouraging employers to make a genius decision by recruiting an apprentice or upskilling an existing employee on an apprenticeship programme funded by the Welsh Government.

The call from Welshpool-based Cambrian Training Company (CTC), which has offices pan-Wales, comes as the country celebrates Apprenticeship Week from February 7-13.

The award-winning company is the leading provider of apprenticeships to the hospitality industry in Wales, including Craft Cuisine and British Institute of Innkeepers.

In addition, the company delivers apprenticeships in Food and Drink Manufacture, Butchery, Health and Social Care, Children’s Early Years, Equine, Financial Services, Team Leading and Management, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies, Retail and Customer Service, Sustainable Resource Management and Water Engineering.

CTC says apprenticeships enable cost-effective recruitment, create a pool of talent with a skilled, qualified and motivated workforce, fill skills gaps to meet demands now and in the future and helps businesses grow by recruit, retraining or redeploying their workforce.

One of the hospitality businesses that the company works with is Lake Vyrnwy Hotel at Llanwddyn which has 11 apprentices, aged from 17 to mid-40s.

Managing director Anthony Rosser said: “Apprenticeships are now the cornerstone of our recruitment. It’s a wonderful opportunity for employees to receive structured training, very beneficial for recruitment, staff retention and progression, helps to drive up standards within your business and is easy to organise and administer.”

The owners of the largest meat processing plant and abattoir in Wales are using the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship Programme to upskill and develop their workforce.

Kepak, which has a workforce of 850 at the company’s flagship facilities at St Merryn Merthyr, is upskilling 50 staff in the first phase of apprenticeships, increasing to around 75 staff within a year.

Paul Hughes, Kepak St Merryn Merthyr site director, said: “One of Kepak’s key values is ambition. We want to invest in an Apprenticeship Programme that gives all of our employees an opportunity to grow and develop to their full potential within the business and to satisfy their own personal goals.

“By upskilling our existing workforce as our first priority and then looking to attract people to join the food industry and offer them a career path through, we are hopeful that we can attract a diverse range of talent to our business.

“We think it’s fantastic that the Welsh Government provides support to businesses likes ours to make these apprenticeship opportunities possible. We are looking forward to more local people joining our business and giving them access to these training opportunities in the coming months.”

Phill John, managing director of NorthWales Media, a Flint-based technology business, is another advocate of apprenticeships. The company currently has three apprentices in its workforce of 11.

“The Apprenticeship Programme, in our case, has developed personnel who are a major asset in the growth of the company,” he said. “NorthWales Media will only be successful in our industry if we continue staff training and development.

“We expect to take on more apprentices in the near future due to the success of our partnership with Cambrian Training.”

CTC says apprenticeships are an effective way to grow and elevate a business by upskilling its current staff or expanding by hiring new employees. In a government survey, 74%of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service.

Ensuring that staff have a broad range of knowledge, skills and qualifications is a productive way to take a business to the next level. In a survey, 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation.

Offering exciting opportunities for staff progression enables a business to show employees its commitment to their continual professional development.

This in turn improves staff wellbeing, reduces turnover and increases retention. A survey also revealed that 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity.

Getting support from the local people is vital to develop a business and ensure repeat customers. An easy but effective way for a business to do this is by offering career development to employees, which helps to develop a positive reputation in the local community and assists recruitment.

The Welsh Government offers a number of schemes and incentives to encourage businesses to offer apprenticeships to their employees. CTC provides can help check if a business is eligible for funding support for apprenticeships.

CTC is keen to explode a common myth that hiring an apprentice is a time consuming process. The company’s training officers help to guide a business through the complete process, from finding the correct qualification and form filling to the apprentice search and recruitment process.

For more information about how apprenticeships can elevate a business, email CTC at [email protected] .

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

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