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Quality Skills Alliance showcases the importance of apprenticeships

Quality Skills Alliance showcases the importance of apprenticeships

by Kate Ellaway -
Number of replies: 0

Immediate: 30/05/14

The Quality Skills Alliance, one of the largest providers of work-based learning in Wales, has held a special event to highlight to employers of all sizes how apprentices can provide the boost that their business needs.

The ‘Food for Thought’ business breakfast at the St David’s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff Bay brought together employers, training providers and apprentices to showcase how employing apprentices can add real value.

Speaking at the event, Sam Huckle, Head of Apprenticeships at the Welsh Government’s Department for Education and Skills, said that the work of the training providers that make up the QSA was inspirational. She explained the high standard of apprenticeships delivered in Wales, and how apprentices are far more likely to successfully complete than they were five years ago.

“In 2012/2013 the completion rate for apprentices in Wales stood at 86% and was one of the highest across the training and skills sector,” Ms Huckle said.

She also talked about the benefits to the economy, citing figures from the Centre for Economics and Business Research. The CEBR study predicts that apprenticeships will contribute £3.4bn to the UK economy between 2012 and 2022 and found that the average apprentice increases business productivity by £214 a week.

QSA Chair Kay Martin also spoke about the importance of apprenticeships to the Welsh economy and how work-based learning can offer a genuine alternative to university, without the debt. Sue Marks, Quality Assurance Officer at the QSA, talked about funding, the practicalities of recruiting apprentices and the benefits to an organisation of the QSA supporting apprenticeship programmes.

Finally, two employers and their apprentices held a question and answer session, chaired by Cardiff and Vale College Director of Curriculum for Technology and Work-based Learning Bradley Tanner. They were: CYFLE Chief Executive Sue Jeffries and events apprentice Aaron Jones, AA Driving School Team Leader Gary Olding and customer service apprentice Tasmiya Khan. Aaron has moved from North Wales to Cardiff to carry out an apprenticeship in the creative industries and Tasmiya has won numerous awards for her hard work and dedication.

The panel discussed the real benefits that both apprentice and employer had experienced as a result of work-based learning, and Sue Jeffries said that CYFLE was looking to take Aaron on full-time and hoped to employ more apprentices. Gary Olding explained how apprentices were extremely self-motivated and eager to learn and develop, while Tasmiya talked about how her confidence had grown and how much she loved learning and earning at the same time.


Notes to editors

  • Photo shows (l-r) Events Apprentice Aaron Jones, QSA Quality Assurance Officer Sue Marks, CYFLE Chief Executive Sue Jeffries, DfES Head of Apprenticeships Sam Huckle – holding the QSA logo – AA Driving School Team Leader Gary Olding, Customer Service Apprentice Tasmiya Khan, Welsh Government Business and Admin Apprentice Chris Mcilquham
  • The Quality Skills Alliance is a consortium of work based learning providers made up of 22 partners and subcontractors. The partners are Cardiff and Vale College Apprenticeships, Coleg y Cymoedd, BEST, Focus on Training and NDGTA with subcontractors Brothers Constantinou, Kaplan, Smart Development, JGR Group, Wales Centre for Pharmacy Professional Education, CYFLE, Bosch, the Work Based Training Agency, BEMA, IETA, Cardiff City FC, JTL, the Automotive Academy, Cunningham and Lindsey, Skillnet, Safe and Secure Training and Remit
  • Why not follow the latest updates from QSA on Facebook or Twitter @The_QSA?


For more information contact:

Chris Baker

Communications Officer

Cardiff and Vale College

01446 725015

07985 378574