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College students first in Wales to complete new apprentice scheme


STUDENTS at The College Ystrad Mynach have become the first in Wales to complete an innovative apprenticeship scheme.

The pilot scheme, completed by students shortly before this week’s National Apprentice Week, was awarded by the Welsh Assembly under its Sector Priority Fund Pilot Programme, and has been specifically designed to support employees in the property sector.  

Those taking part in the project have benefited from an increased specialist knowledge in fields such as quantity surveying, building surveying and maintenance, and general practice surveying and valuation, and have received a formal qualification demonstrating their expertise.

Employers carefully selected the apprentices, after they showed the potential to develop and progress further within their organisations.

Employees studying for the apprenticeship course in Surveying, Property and Maintenance (SP&M) spent 18 – 24 months on the course, which consisted of both college attendance to build theory knowledge and then practical assessments within the workplace.

Many participants were also able to evaluate their organisations own quality procedures and make suggestions to their line managers regarding improvements.

An employee benefiting from the course, John Corbett, Assett Surveyer at Valleys to Coast Housing, said:

“Completing this apprenticeship has helped me take a large step in my development in the workplace.

“It has helped me develop towards a managerial role, in which I am producing reports and chairing meetings, something I didn’t feel I was capable of before.

“It has also helped with my confidence, when undertaking these types of more professional tasks.” 

Steve Ward, Course Tutor at The College Ystrad Mynach, added:

“The apprenticeship provides employees with more opportunities for promotion and helps them from a traditional trade background into more managerial and supervisory roles.

“When people think of apprenticeships, they tend to focus on school-leavers, but this course focuses on those already in the workplace and develops their existing skills even further.”

Bryn Davies, Principal at The College Ystrad Mynach, said:

“We’re delighted to award the first surveying apprentice qualifications in Wales.

“The course has received fantastic feedback from students and employers alike and we’re always looking to boost the skills of employees in the workplace.

“We pride ourselves in providing the best possible training for those already in work and looking to develop their skills further.”

Posted by marketing at 15:25

Student from The College Ystrad Mynach bids for Apprentice of the Year award

Rhys Apprentice Award.jpgA hard-working student from The College Ystrad Mynach is in the running to become Apprentice of the Year in a Wales-wide award scheme.

Rhys West, 20, from Penpedairheol, is a finalist in the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru which celebrate the achievements of apprentices, employers and learning providers.

The awards, which are split into eight different categories, are organised by the Welsh Government together with the National Training Federation Wales.

Rhys has been invited to an awards ceremony at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House on November 16 where he will find out if he has won the top prize in the Apprentice of the Year category.

After gaining a handful of low-grade GCSEs at Lewis School in Pengam in 2007, Rhys decided to give plumbing a go and began a four-year apprenticeship with Brecongate Projects Ltd in Treforest. While gaining hands-on experience four days a week with the firm, Rhys was also in the classroom once a week.

For the last two years, he has been studying under the expert tutors at The College Ystrad Mynach and has successfully completed an NVQ Level 3 in mechanical engineering (plumbing).

Rhys has also added to his skills with gas and electrical qualifications by going to evening classes at the college. He said the apprenticeship not only helped him to learn a host of practical skills but also boosted his confidence.

He said:  “The apprenticeship has given me the inspiration and confidence to continue to gain new skills to further develop my career. My self confidence has been boosted having to deal with so many varied situations over the past four years. I also learned a lot about myself and my capabilities.

When he first started at Brecongate, he was doing small tasks under supervision but very quickly found himself being given a lot more responsibility and, by the end of the second year, was regularly working on his own.

Rhys, who enjoys going to the gym in his spare time, said:  “Training with the college and the support of the tutors and the engineers at Brecongate has been absolutely priceless.”As well as setting him on the road to success, Rhys’ hard work has had other benefits.

He has inspired his father Paul to re-train as a mechanical engineer at The College Ystrad Mynach after 30 years as a full time welder/fabricator.Paul has also been taken on by Brecongate and father and son often work as a team together.

College Principal Bryn Davies said: “Rhys is a shining example of what hard work and determination can achieve. He has worked extremely hard during his apprenticeship and we wish him all the best for the awards and in his future career.”  

Posted by Marketing at 10:39
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Paint Brushes at the Ready as Dulux Decorator Centres Searches for its 'Apprentice of the Year'

It’s that time of year again. Dulux Decorator Centres is calling all apprentices to come forward with their overalls and artistic flair, as the much anticipated, national Apprentice of the Year 2011 competition launches and heads to The College Ystrad Mynach on 29th March. 

The hugely successful competition, which is now in its fourth year, will see Dulux Decorator Centres search high and low across the UK for the most talented painters and decorators of the future.  

The competition, which will comprise of nine heats around the UK, will test the skills and creativity of apprentices, to see who can paint their way to victory and be in with a chance of winning a place in the grand final which takes place at Bridgend College on 9th June 2011. 

The Dulux Decorator Centres’ Apprentice of the Year 2011 competition is open to all apprentices between the ages of 17 and 24 years, who are on a recognised painting and decorating course, studying an NVQ or SVQ level two or three, alongside working in the industry.  

Jason Stokes assistant store manager of the Cardiff Dulux Decorator Centre on Colchester Avenue, commented: “Dulux Decorator Centres’ is committed to supporting colleges and painters and decorators, and the Apprentice of the Year competition is going to be bigger and better in 2011. The accolade that comes with winning this prize is fantastic and it is a highly respected reward across the painting and decorating industry. 

“It is a great chance for colleges to put forward their best apprentices and to receive recognition for the high standard of skilled teaching on offer to aspiring young talent. The prizes on offer also reflect the prestige this competition holds and will go some way to help start the winner’s career.” 

The competition aims to cover elements of painting and decorating, and each student will be tasked with a series of applications. Wallpapering, stencilling, waterborne glosses, and special effects, will all be included in the practical heats and the overall winner will be selected for showcasing skills across the board. 

The winner of the Ystrad Mynach College heat will go on to compete against eight other regional winners in the national final, which will take place at Bridgend College on 9th June, where the overall winner will be presented with the title of ‘Dulux Decorator Centres’ Apprentice of the Year 2011’ at an awards ceremony. 

The winner will receive £1,000 cash and a variety of other prizes, including £200 worth of Dulux Decorator Centres’ branded work wear, a Red Letter Day, Nectar points, Dulux training and a host of prizes for their college for all painting and decorating students to use. There will also be runners up prizes of £500 and £250, plus £100 worth of Dulux Decorator Centres’ vouchers each, for those finishing in overall second and third place. Individual regional heat winners will win £100 each, a certificate and a Dulux Decorator Centre goody bag packed with fantastic products donated by the company’s suppliers.  

Peter Doyle, technical training consultant at Dulux Decorator Centres, comments: “We are always on the lookout for exceptional talent in the painting and decorating industry and this year we are once again searching for our apprentice of the year. The recognition that comes with winning this competition can really help to start a career for any up and coming painter and decorator, and the prize on offer is a great reason to enter.” 

For further information visit www.duluxdecoratorcentre.co.uk or for regular updates join the Facebook group - Dulux Decorator Centres or follow on Twitter at DuluxDecCentre.

Posted by Marketing at 09:35