Businesses looking to recruit apprentices or use the Apprenticeships Programme in Wales to up-skill their workforce can now access a new service for employers. The National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), which represents more than 100 learning providers across Wales, has appointed a team of specialists to make it easier for employers to engage with the Welsh Government Apprenticeships Programme.
The NTfW apprenticeships team’s mission is to increase the number of employers recruiting apprentices, while also encouraging the recruitment of young people into employment sectors of national or regional importance.
Funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund, the team will work with employers and interested stakeholders across Wales, with a view to providing a specialist service for all apprenticeship enquiries.
By speaking to employers, the team quickly identifies their needs and which apprenticeship framework and pathway are required before passing the referral to learning providers best placed to deliver the Apprenticeship Programme in specific sectors. Once suitable provision has been identified, it is then down to the employer to choose which provider they want to work with. The team is totally impartial.
From initial expression of interest to the learning provider contacting the employer should take no longer than five days. The aim is to provide a direct line to employers who are seeking information about how to engage with apprenticeships.
In the five years since 2012, there has been a 350% rise in the number of individuals undertaking a Higher Apprenticeship, which now account for nearly one-quarter of all apprenticeship starts. With the clearly defined need for a higher-skilled workforce, this is clearly good news for Welsh employers and the economy.
Jeff Protheroe, NTfW’s director of operations, said apprenticeship provision in Wales was constantly evolving to meet the needs of employers: “We are committed to ensuring that employers in Wales get the service they are looking for.
Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan said: “The new referral process delivered by the NTfW makes it a lot easier for employers across Wales to engage with the Apprenticeships Programme and to find the specific service they are looking for.
“By becoming involved in apprenticeships in Wales, employers are creating a more responsive, motivated workforce with the key skills and experience they need. Apprenticeships deliver real returns to the bottom line for businesses and help employers to improve productivity and to be more competitive.
“The Welsh Government is on course to meet its ambitious target of creating 100,000 apprenticeship starts during this administration. It’s not just about meeting targets, but also ensuring that the right opportunities are being crated in the right areas so that individuals, businesses and the economy can thrive.”
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Or contact Business Wales Skills Cymru: 03301 228338.