More apprenticeships in Wales call from Welsh government
Published: 6th Feb 2012 12:40:08
Employers across Wales are being urged to offer more apprenticeships despite the tough economic conditions.
Welsh Deputy Minister for Skills Jeff Cuthbert said the move would give businesses vital skills for survival and growth in the future.
Figures show the number of apprentices in Wales has dropped over the past three years.
Mr Cuthbert said on-the-job training led to "better motivated workforces and an improved bottom line".
The Welsh government quoted research, undertaken by Populus, among employers who had trained apprentices.
This suggested that 77% believed it made their firms more competitive, with 76% saying it led to higher overall productivity.
Research shows that apprenticeships are good for business”
Some 88% said apprenticeships resulted in better motivation among their workforces, while 57% reported that a high proportion of apprentices moved into management positions in their businesses.
The Welsh government also quoted labour market information which it said showed that those who completed apprenticeship training at level 3 were likely to earn up to £117,000 more over their working lives than those who did not undertake such training.
However, figures show the the number of apprentices in Wales has dropped from 42,590 in 2007/08 to 36,380 in 2009/10 - a reduction of around 15%.
On Monday afternoon Mr Cuthbert will launch a week of events designed to raise the profile of apprenticeships among employers with a visit to the ACT Skills Academy in Cardiff.
Nick Servini, BBC Wales business correspondent
The Welsh government spends £90m a year on apprenticeships. Broadly speaking, it will pay for the training and the employers will pay for wages.
The National Training Federation for Wales is making efforts to lower the average age for apprenticeships in Wales, which currently stands at 26.
The challenge is that in tough economic times, it is expensive for companies to run apprenticeship schemes.
However, in the long run, there is plenty of evidence to show that they benefit companies.
There is an average staff retention rate for apprenticeship schemes of over 80%, which means it is a very effective way of getting young people into the workforce.
Apprenticeships used to be more popular because there used to be more manufacturing in Wales and fewer people used to go to university.
Only around 10% of apprenticeships in Wales are in manufacturing.
The big numbers are in the service sector in areas such as care and hospitality.
Speaking before the event he said: "Research shows that apprenticeships are good for business.
"Employers who use this form of training say it leads to better motivated workforces and an improved bottom line."
Mr Cuthbert added: "Apprenticeships represent an opportunity for employers, with Welsh government and European Social Fund support, to turn unskilled young people into high performers who will be the backbone of their companies and the Welsh economy in the years ahead.
"We will continue to support employers who are looking to take on apprentices."
His call was backed by ACT managing director Andrew Cooksley.
Mr Cooksley, who is also spokesman on employability for the National Training Federation for Wales, said: "Learning providers in Wales have thousands of talented young people on their books who would be major assets to employers, and making the commitment to recruit them as apprentices would be a very positive move for their businesses."
Meanwhile two employers in north Wales have announced apprenticeship opportunities.
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus said it was taking applications for undergraduate apprenticeships at its base in Broughton, Flintshire.
Civil engineering company Jones Bros, based in Ruthin, Denbighshire, is set to take on six apprentice plant operators.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. More apprenticeships in Wales call from Welsh government [Online] (Updated 6th Feb 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/223531/More-apprenticeships-in-Wales-call-from-Welsh-government [Accessed 29th Jul 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
The Commonwealth Games is 11 days of non-stop action.