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Welsh Government to support 1,000 apprenticeship vacancies

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.

An electrical apprentice with a natural aptitude for science and maths has found the perfect way to use his natural ability to kick-start his career after completing an apprenticeship with Calsonic Kansei.

Bruno Forkouh, 25, from Llanelli has always had an interest in engineering and electronics and from a young age was fascinated with finding out how things worked. Pursuing a career in engineering therefore seemed like the obvious choice for him but after relocating from Italy just six years ago he was unsure which pathway to follow into his dream career.

After starting a BTEC in electronics and electrics at Coleg Sir Gar, Bruno was offered the chance to do work-experience with Calsonic Kansei. Bruno quickly impressed with his natural flair and within two weeks was asked to apply for one of its apprenticeship programmes.

Now five years on, thanks to Calsonic Kansei, Coleg Sir Gar and the Welsh Government, Bruno is working as a fully qualified electrical technician while studying for a degree in electronics and electrics and is looking ahead to the future.

Bruno said: “I’ve always had a natural gift for understanding science, engineering and maths and knew I wanted to make sure of it in my career. Back in Italy I started investigating pursuing a career in structural engineering but when I relocated to Wales I decided to shift over into a more electrical engineering pathway.

“I started by doing a BTEC at Coleg Sir Gâr but was really lucky to be offered the chance to do an apprenticeship with Calsonic Kansei after just two weeks’ work experience. I was really pleased to be offered such a fantastic opportunity and during the three years of doing my apprenticeship I learned so much. I spent my time rotating around the different departments within the business learning about everything from design and manufacturing to production and maintenance.

“I really enjoy the hands-on approach to learning and being able to put theory into practice every day which really helped me to understand exactly how and why everything works.

“The apprenticeship has been a brilliant way of gaining practical, hands-on experience and kick-starting my career in a field I love. It’s opened doors and will provide me with all the experience, skills and qualifications I need to progress my career.”

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.

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

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Jason Cooper

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