Tag: Apprenticeships

Co-investment and mobilising a productive and skilled workforce in Wales

April 2015 saw the Welsh Government begin to implement its framework for co-investment in skills. This framework changes the way in which training, skills and apprenticeships are funded in Wales.

The new approach to investing in skills means that the total cost of training, in cash terms, is shared between two or more people. For businesses or individuals who employ apprentices or offer work-based training, the change means that they must increase their financial contributions to meet the cost of skills training in their workforce.

William Graham AM, Chair of the Enterprise and Business Committee

Expecting to be fully implemented by 2017, the Enterprise and Business Committee wanted to find out how this would impact Welsh businesses and training providers. Would the new framework help meet the Welsh Government’s aim of “ensuring that Wales develops a competitive edge in mobilising a productive and skilled workforce”?

The Committee held business breakfasts, in both North and South Wales to explore these issues further. The first meeting took place in Brains Brewery, Cardiff with a variety of representatives from the academic, business and training sectors.

Gwawr Thomas, Creative Skillset Cymru talks about taking part in the event and explains the importance of co-investment in skills within the creative industries:

Participants discussed the need to consider the different levels of financial support available to a variety of businesses who may be operating on different scales. Increased investment from employers may mean that those businesses then select candidates who have experience – which could see them neglect young candidates which would see the policy work against the Welsh Government’s aim.

Dylan's, Menai Bridge - Anglesey
Dylan’s, Menai Bridge – Anglesey

The second breakfast meeting took place in Dylan’s Restaurant, Anglesey with local training providers and business representatives. Iwan Thomas, the Regional Skills and Employment Lead for the North Wales Economic Ambition Board was one of the invited guests.

One of the key messages he wanted to get across was for the Welsh Government to consider a regional approach to co-investment, and how they should be taking the change forward:

Having held both business breakfasts, the Enterprise and Business Committee sent a letter of recommendations to the Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James AM to consider in relation to the policy change. You can read the letter of recommendations here: http://bit.ly/1fzxrp1

Assembly People: Apprenticeship Week

Our apprentice Lori with a member of HR in the Assembly library
Our apprentice Lori with a member of HR in the Assembly library

Apprenticeship Week celebrates the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals and businesses.

Lori Nicolls, apprentice with our Communications team, talks about her experience…

Recently, I visited my former school, Blackwood Comprehensive in Gwent as part of the ‘Apprenticeship Ambassadors’ scheme working with the Welsh Government’s Department for Education and Skills.

I was thrilled to be chosen, and I couldn’t wait to give my talk to the students on my experience of being an apprentice and working in the National Assembly for Wales. Apprehensive, but armed with my notes, I spoke in front of 200 year 10 students.

Before leaving school, I wasn’t sure what career path I wanted to take, so after applying for numerous jobs with no luck, I was surprised to see that there were apprenticeships available in business and media, as I had always thought apprenticeships were for more traditional courses like hairdressing or construction.

In February 2013, I was pleased when I managed to secure a position as an apprentice at the National Assembly, and was placed in the Communications department. My role varies daily, which is what I love about my job. Some days I’ll be focusing on social media, creating and drafting tweets to engage with the public, other days I may be helping my colleague in planning or hosting events, or some days I may be working on the Assembly’s publications.

With more and more employers asking for experience, an apprenticeship really is the best of both worlds. You learn whilst earning, whilst gaining invaluable experience.


The apprenticeship programme is funded by the Welsh Government with the support of the European Social Fund.

From butchery to baking, engineering to electrical or hospitality to HR there is a huge range of apprenticeship frameworks available for young people across Wales.

For more information about becoming an apprentice, please visit www.careerswales.com or call 0800 0284844. Also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/apprenticeshipscymru  and on Twitter @apprenticewales