Construction Young apprentice of the year announced

Construction Young apprentice of the year announced

Young apprentices have been recognised for their contributions to the construction sector by local provider, Y Prentis, and construction industry partners at a celebration awards event in Cardiff.

Young apprentices have been recognised for their contributions to the construction sector by local provider, Y Prentis, and construction industry partners at a celebration awards event in Cardiff.

Y Prentis, the shared apprenticeship scheme, hosted the inaugural awards to celebrate the achievements of young apprentices and their employers, bringing together construction industry representatives for a gala event at The Tramshed in Cardiff last week.

Y Prentis is a flagship partnership between housing association Melin Homes and Monmouthshire County Council, and is funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Welsh Government.

The £2 million venture has created over 180 apprenticeships across south east Wales in its first 3 years. The ultimate aim is to provide a service which supports young people into sustainable employment within the construction industry.

Four apprentices were recognised for their contributions, with awards for Industry Achiever, Learner of the Year, Against All Odds Award for the young person overcoming personal adversity to reach success, and the overall Apprentice of the Year.

The awards aimed to celebrate the role of apprenticeships in construction, highlighting the importance of creating pathways for young learners to ‘earn while they learn’ and ensuring young talent can grow with the construction industry.

Gabriel Williams was delighted to be awarded Apprentice of the Year at the event. “Even being nominated was a great achievement but to win the award was an incredible feeling. I'd like to thank everybody at Y Prentis for their continued support throughout my apprenticeship; it wouldn't have been possible without them.”

Paula Kennedy, Chief Executive of Y Prentis, highlighted the importance of celebrating both apprentices and their employers. “Working together has been key to the success of the Y Prentis model and these awards were created to ensure we take time to recognise the effort and determination our apprentices have made, and also the incredible support, guidance and mentoring provided to them to help them reach their full potential.”

Y Prentis is part-funded by CITB, the Construction Industry Training Board. Rob Davis, CITB Cymru Wales Regional Delivery Manager, said: “We are delighted to support Y Prentis who help employers and apprentices to gain the skills needed for our industry. Congratulations to all the winners at the inaugural awards. It’s vital that Welsh construction talent is nurtured and that we celebrate the huge contributions of both employers and trainees.”

The event also marked the contributions of construction companies and the employees that go above and beyond their duties to support and mentor young apprentices.

Four employees received awards for Inspirational Mentor, Community Benefit Support, Flexible Support Partner and the overall Y Prentis Ambassador.

Mike Little, Community Engagement Manager at Morgan Sindall was nominated by his colleagues and received the Community Benefit Support Award. He said, “Morgan Sindall is committed to adding real value to the communities in which we work – it’s something I passionately believe in, and I’m delighted to receive the Community Benefit Support Award.”

His colleague Tom Davies shared his delight at receiving the overall Y Prentis Ambassador award for his ongoing support of apprentices and the scheme as a whole. “Initiatives like Y Prentis play a vital role in promoting the industry to future generations, and helping them to get a foot on the ladder. I’ve been a long term supporter of the partnership and am incredibly pleased to receive the Ambassador Award.”

The awards were presented by inspirational speaker Lisa Marie Brown, founder of Pinkspiration, a multi award winning business working in the construction industry re-building empty spaces whilst up-skilling young people. Lisa is a role model for Welsh Government scheme Big Ideas Wales, which aims to encourage young people to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career option post-education.

Lisa is passionate about encouraging young people into the construction industry. "I am delighted to celebrate the achievements of these young people who are the next generation of talent for the construction industry, playing a vital role to the success of our industry in Wales and globally.”

Y Prentis also announced an exciting new scheme to allow apprentices the chance of a lifetime to visit a developing country with Habitat for Humanity. Apprentices will be able to apply for a volunteering opportunity to use their construction skills for good in a six to eight week trip in Kenya in 2018, supported by the international charity that seeks to partner individuals with projects around the world.

Were you at the event? Yes then take a look at the photos

 

Gabriel Williams- Y Prentis Apprentice of the year

Gabriel Williams- Y Prentis Apprentice of the year

Y Prentis supports Kickathon!

Y Prentis supports Kickathon!

Y Prentis are pleased to continue to support community sports programmes and clubs. We have recently supported Kubotan Karate Kai in Pontardulais, Swansea in their efforts to raise funding through a sponsor ‘Kickathon’.

The kickathon involved members of the club achieving no fewer than 10,000 kicks in less than one hour. Their Instructor, Sensei Jason Hayward, a former Welsh and British Champion himself,  stated‘We are grateful to all those who contribute to our fund raising efforts. Fundraising is the lifeblood of any club. It enables us to purchase new equipment, which enhances our training programme which in turn maintains our success as a club.’

Kubotan Karate has enjoyed and celebrated success in various tournaments which include representing Wales at the annual European Wado Kai Championships. At the 2016 European Championships in Switzerland one of their instructors Lauren Hayward secured two Bronze medals both in u21’s and in the senior category which the club are extremely proud of.

Kubotan Karate Kai was formed in January 2009 and moved to its full time premises in 2011 and boasts one of the best and most successful Dojo in Wales.  Y Prentis is proud to support sports clubs such as Kubotan Karate Kai in their continued success as a club.

 

Jobseekers learn the 'tools of the trade' with United Welsh & Y Prentis

Jobseekers learn the 'tools of the trade' with United Welsh & Y Prentis

Earlier this year, United Welsh hosted a Construction Skills Training Day for 16 unemployed local people, which was designed to give them an introduction to the essential tools of each trade and a feel for whether they’d like to pursue a trade as a career.

25-year-old Kyle Williams from Caerphilly was one of those people and six months later, he is working as a bricklaying apprentice at United Welsh’s Beech Tree Gardens development in Caerphilly, where homes are being built for rent and market sale under the Association’s harmoni homes brand.

“My grandfather is a bricklayer, my dad is a carpenter and my brother is training to be a painter and decorator, so trades run in my family” Kyle said.

“I’ve wanted to get into bricklaying for a long time so when Caerphilly Council emailed me about the taster day, I was keen to get involved.”

Since the taster day, Kyle and eight other attendees have completed a City and Guilds qualification funded by United Welsh to give them the skills they need to qualify for practical work experience on sites.

Kyle says the 10-day course, Certificate in Bricklaying Skills, gave him the confidence to develop his practical knowledge.

Peter Watkins, Community Investment Coordinator for United Welsh said: “With the high proportion of homes that United Welsh builds for our communities, we are well-placed to help people learn trade skills at our developments and drive forward the important agenda of work-based learning.

“We are proud to have been able to support people such as Kyle back into employment. He is doing a fantastic job and the team from Jehu who are building Beech Tree Gardens really value his input.”

Kyle is now employed by Y Prentis, a flagship partnership between Melin Homes and Monmouthshire Council. Y Prentis employs apprentices on behalf of the industry and rotates them through hosted placements to enable employers to participate without having to commit to a full two year term. 

Mandy Summers, Y Prentis Programme Manager said: “The shared apprenticeship scheme enables young people to gain much-needed, quality experience of the construction industry through a variety of placements.

“The scheme takes the risk away from employers who may not be able to commit to a full two-year apprenticeship programme, so benefits both employers who have recruitment targets but also the apprentices who need practical experience to qualify in their chosen trade.”

Kyle continued: “I’m enjoying all aspects of being on-site, but most of all, I like working as part of the team. My hobby is power-lifting which the team appreciate; it has come in handy for lifting all the materials!

“I’ve also been able to apply my bricklaying skills to make my own home improvements. For example, I built a wall in my back garden a few weeks ago.

“I’m so glad that I attended the Construction Skills Training Day hosted by United Welsh. Since then so many doors have opened for me and the support I’m having from Y Prentis will enable me to continue developing my skills.”

For more information about how United Welsh can help you with jobs and training opportunities, please speak to the Community Investment team on 0800 294 0195 (press option 3) or email tellmemore@unitedwelsh.com

Ex-Service man becomes apprentice

Ex-Service man becomes apprentice

Michael Brine is a 29-year-old ex-service man from Cardiff who served in the Royal Navy as a warfare specialist.

After finding himself in difficult circumstances and claiming Job Seekers Allowance, Michael knew he needed to do something about his situation. He got in touch with the British Legion who put him in contact with RFEA (Regular Forces Employment Association). RFEA’s Regional Employment Advisor Julianne Newsham told him about Y Prentis. Michael met with Dafydd who found him his first placement with ISG at the BBC Studios and enrolled him into college at Cardiff and the Vale.

Becoming an apprentice couldn’t be further from what Michael was used to. His time in the navy was spent on HMS Liverpool and whilst on board he followed strict routines and instructions. He was deployed to Libya for 10 months as part of the NATO contingent and then onto Norway on exercise. Michael was awarded the NATO medal for unified protector in 2012 for his part in the NATO contingent.

Michael said: “I was made to feel part of the ISG team from the very start. I was given the tasks of building a smoking shed, fire signs and blocking in on my own, even with the little amount of experience I have.” Michael is enjoying working on the site and says everyone is really friendly and Health & Safety is top priority.

 Y Prentis and RFEA have worked together to make sure Michael’s transition into work was smooth. Michael said that he has been given an amazing opportunity and the constant contact and support from both organisations made him feel well looked after.

Picture from seaforces.org 

Y Prentis Sleep Out!

Y Prentis Sleep Out!

On Thursday 10th November the Y Prentis team took part in the Llamaus’ Big Sleepout, an annual event held to help raise awareness of the plight of so many who are forced to sleep on our streets every day.

Llamau also raise much needed money to support homeless young people and vulnerable women in Wales.

Sleeping rough was something none of us had experienced before so we had no idea what to expect, we all wrapped up in a few layers of clothes and waterproofs, taking along our sleep bags and very little else!

We arrived at 7pm for registration led into the event where we were serenaded by the Llamau’s choir sang, with special guest Wynne Evans (famous for the Go Compare adverts) who opened the event. 

From there the challenge began. We were presented with our rudimental shelter building kit, containing cardboard, tarpaulin and tape and were given  an hour to construct what would be our home for the night.  The direction was to create something that would fit all 5 team members and our sleeping bags, and would protect us from the elements. This exercise was a great team building experience, but showed us how difficult it must be to construct your home for the night every day, with very little resources to hand.

We were fortunate that we were provided with food for the evening but it made us all too aware that this isn’t always the experience of many homeless people in Wales.  

By 2am everyone had made their way into the shelters to try and get some sleep. It was strange sleeping outside with no walls to protect you from the wind and cold. We were lucky enough that it didn’t rain and we had the knowledge that we were safe inside an enclosed area, but this isn’t always the case for homeless people who have to endure all weather conditions and the daily dangers of sleeping rough.

A difficult, uncomfortable and long night ensued, where little sleep was had by the team, however everyone remained upbeat.

After a half 5 wake up call we headed home, all we could think about was getting home into our warm, cosy beds. Sleeping out made us realise how lucky we are to have a roof over our heads and a warm meal more than once a day. Although it was tough we would all do it again and want to continue supporting Llamau each year in participating in the Big Sleep Out!

 

Y Prentis Take part in St Albans community project

Y Prentis Take part in St Albans community project

Bricklaying apprentices Kieffer Graham and Jordan Chappell have been volunteering to renovate a derelict building in St Albans RC High School, Pontypool. The renovation is for the HNC Sanctuary Project.

The boys have worked closely with Coleg Gwent Staff, students, local construction companies and Gwent Training Academy undertaking tasks such as blocking up a chimney and doorways, plastering, painting and general tidying.

Y Prentis at DIY SOS

Y Prentis at DIY SOS

In April Y Prentis supplied apprentices to help out on the DIY SOS: Big Build. 

DIY SOS renovated a home in Monmouth for a women who unfortunately suffered a stroke during the birth of her twin boys. A call for trades was put out and Y Prentis happily volunteered two apprentices. Michael Edwards a plasterer and Jordan Worsfold a carpenter.

Whilst working on the house the apprentices worked with the other companies to get the house ready for the family to move back in.

Michael, put up and prepared the plaster boards to be plastered. He also plastered ceilings. He said that the experience was a great opportunity to work with all the other trades and was nice to see the project from start to finish.

Matthew's Y Prentis Journey

Matthew's Y Prentis Journey

Matthew Lowe is a 21 year old Gas & Plumbing apprentice from Caerphilly, he attends Ystrad Mynach College.

Daniel goes Down under to start new life thanks to Y Prentis

Daniel goes Down under to start new life thanks to Y Prentis

Daniel Hearse a former Apprentice from Bridgend is enjoying a new life in the sun after moving to Sydney in Australia following a successful apprenticeship as a bricklayer.

Daniel completed an apprenticeship on a Y Prentis shared apprenticeship scheme that helps young people complete a full apprenticeship programme by working with a number of different employers. The scheme helps them gain the skills and experience they require to become qualified and gain employment.

Daniel said “Without Y Prentis I would not be here now, it was a fantastic scheme that has helped me so much in my work and life. The time I spent with companies including Jehu Project Services and Balfour Beatty, helped me learn practical skills and how different companies work.

Y Prentis has given me the opportunity to learn a skill and without it I wouldn’t be able to get my permanent residence in Australia. I would definitely recommend Y Prentis to any young people considering working in construction.”

Mandy Summers, Y Prentis Programme Manager, said “Our aim is to help young people into sustainable employment. The shared apprenticeship part of the scheme is very important; apprentices are not just placed with one employer but are moved around to different employers to get a rounded experience. Balfour Beatty andJEHU are just some of the many brilliant employers who have really bought into giving young people an opportunity to improve their lives.”   

Daniel Hearse working in Sydney, Australia.

Daniel Hearse working in Sydney, Australia.

Head of SEWSCAP gives High Praise for Y Prentis

Head of SEWSCAP gives High Praise for Y Prentis

Vince Hanley, Service Director for procurement, Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC, leaves his role as head of SEWSCAP with praise for the successful Y Prentis scheme

 “Y Prentis has contributed in a massive way to Community Benefits and the 21stCentury School Programme. Mandy and the team at Y Prentis have taken the creation of sustainable employment and skills to a new level, it has been of huge value.

Their work shouldn’t be underestimated; the Y Prentis shared apprenticeship scheme has really helped SME’s and encouraged them to get involved. The challenging nature of construction means the flexible ‘shared’ benefits of the scheme enables employers to meet the peaks and troughs of their work load.

It’s not just about achieving a full apprenticeship; it’s about giving young people the skills and confidence to get sustainable jobs.    

The Y Pentris shared apprenticeship scheme has provided a valuable solution to apprentices within the 21st century schools programme. It gives SME’s all the necessary support to take on apprentices and has been a breath of fresh air.”

Mandy Summers, Y Prentis Programme Manager, said “I would like to wish Vince all the best for the future he has given Y Prentis incredible support since the start of the scheme.”

Merthyr Tydfil college helps Y Prentis Students

Merthyr Tydfil college helps Y Prentis Students

John Bird, Senior Lecturer at Merthyr Tydfil College said  “We have some excellent students here and it has been good to help them on the Y Prentis Scheme work towards achieving their apprenticeships

Y Prentis is a very good scheme it helps young people to learn and develop in the classroom. Just as importantly gaining experience out on the job, meeting people and getting used to a work environment. It’s about giving people real skills and real work.

The people and the general environment here at Merthyr College helps us give our students the best possible training for their apprenticeships.

Y Prentis is a successful partnership between Melin Homes and Monmouthshire County Council (CMC2) and is funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Welsh Government.

For more information about Y Prentis contact Y Prentis enquiries@yprentis.co.uk. Or call the team on 0800 9753 147. More details can also be found at www.yprentis.co.uk