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Welsh Government funding will create 70 new apprentices in North West Wales

Seventy new apprenticeships in engineering and construction are to be created across North West Wales thanks to a funding boost of almost £900,000 from the Welsh Government, Business Minister Edwina Hart has announced.
Wednesday 15 August 2012

The £896,000 funding is to support Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s apprentice employment agency, Cwmni Prentis Menai, which is geared to improve employment opportunities for appropriately skilled young people across the renewable energy sector.

The new apprentices – 40 in engineering and 30 in construction - will be employed by the agency, based at Coleg Menai and placed with host employers in the locality.

They will join 23 apprentices recruited by the agency in the 2011/2012 academic year.

Mrs Hart said:

"There are a number of substantial renewable energy investments underway in North Wales as well as many potential projects in the pipeline - including a possible new nuclear station at Wylfa – that offer a range of new employment opportunities.

"It is vital we have people with the right skills to take advantage of these opportunities as they arise and Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s initiative offers young people a real chance to gain the necessary qualifications to go for these jobs.

"Welsh Government interventions are targeted directly at the people and places where they will have the greatest impact to create jobs and help tackle poverty. I am pleased to see this apprenticeship programme has the full backing of Gwynedd, Ynys Môn and Conwy local authorities and the private sector, including Horizon Nuclear Power."

The support package from the Department for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science builds on existing funding from the Department for Education and Skills’ existing apprenticeship programmes including Pathway to Apprenticeships and Young Recruits.

Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said:

"Apprenticeships support a successful future for individuals, businesses and the wider community which is why I have agreed to support ambitious plans for a North Wales Apprenticeship Agency.

"It is essential that we continue to extend our apprenticeship programme in Wales, to support young people, who are trying to get their foot in the door and launch their career. That is why I am determined to do all that I can to give people the very best skills, training and opportunities to succeed. 

"This announcement shows that we are taking action to make it easier to take on apprentices. We hope this new approach will encourage even more employers to take on apprentices and ensure that the North West Wales workforce has the skills we need to boost growth."

Dafydd Evans, Principal of Coleg Menai, gave an enthusiastic welcome to the announcement:

"This substantial investment in apprenticeships is excellent news for the region, and particularly for young people aiming to build careers in key industries like energy, engineering and construction. Coleg Menai will move swiftly to recruit young people who can take advantage of the expansion in Cwmni Prentis Menai’s provision. They will also work closely with employers to ensure that opportunities to support apprenticeships are made available."


Isle of Anglesey County Council Leader, Councillor Bryan Owen, welcomed confirmation of the funding and Welsh Government support.

He stressed:

"This is a good practice example of the public sector collaborating with the private sector and Coleg Menai to ensure young people are given an opportunity to acquire skills and abilities that are essential in the energy and other sectors.

"These apprenticeship opportunities will hopefully grow over coming years as new developers and investors move on to the Island - ensuring our young people remain to sustain the economy, future generations, our communities, language and culture."

John Idris Jones, Energy Island Programme Manager said:

"I am delighted that Welsh Government is supporting Cwmni Prentis Menai. This adds to the support of the apprentice company by Horizon Nuclear Power, Isle of Anglesey County Council and Gwynedd Council.

"It is a great opportunity for young people in Anglesey and North West Wales to get apprenticeships and take advantage of future work opportunities in the engineering and construction sector with developments such as the Wylfa new build and offshore wind and marine turbines."

The first apprentices were recruited by the agency in the 2011/2012 academic year and Welsh Government funding will bring the total number of apprentices on the three year programme to 93.

 

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