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.”