Where are they now?

Kyle Howells #Here2Help

Kyle Howells was referred to Y Prentis in June 2020 by his college tutor when his former employer was no longer able to keep him on because of the Pandemic.  Y Prentis’ #Here2Help initiative, which was launched in June 2020 to assist Covid-19 displaced apprentices, enabled Kyle to recommence his carpentry apprenticeship. In July 2021, Kyle was one of several displaced apprentices Y Prentis were able to support to successfully complete their apprenticeship through the #Here2Help initiative.

Construction companies who directly employ apprentices are sometimes faced with the difficult decision to lay off apprentices when there is insufficient work available. Y Prentis is well equipped to support displaced apprentices due to the ‘shared apprenticeship’ operating model. This differs from traditional apprenticeships as apprentices are directly employed by Y Prentis, who then capitalise on their large partner network to move the apprentices to various partner contractors as and when the need arises. The model provides apprentices with more security as apprentices can be rotated between various sites ensuring they are able to complete their work-based evidence throughout their apprenticeship.

“Collaboration through the shared approach to apprenticeships really works in instances such as Kyle’s. ” explains Darryl Williams, Y Prentis Programme Manager “Utilizing shorter term opportunities provided through our network of partners and combining them allow us to deliver sustainable apprenticeships. This viable approach adds value and compliments the traditional form of apprenticeship”.

During his time with Y Prentis, Kyle was hosted by Hazelwood Carpentry at Morgan Sindall’s Whitmore School project in Barry and Jehu Group at Pontypridd Magistrates court. Reflecting on the site rotations, Kyle said, “I think that you don’t learn the full-scale of the job, when working with one single company. The shared aspect worked well for me. It opened a lot of doors, which helped me to network and work with a lot of different people. It also helped to improve my communication skills and made me more adaptable. Y Prentis were very helpful, they always kept me up to date when I moved to a new site and offered a lot of assistance, which made the whole process straightforward.”

Kyle went on to say that the on-site experience really helped to boost his confidence, saying, “Once I was on-site and gained enough experience, I was trusted with more and more of the smaller tasks, instead of handing these over to a qualified Carpenter which really made me feel more capable”. Kyle highly recommends the apprenticeship route into construction, saying, “Take on the opportunity. You have a much better idea of what types of tasks you will be required to do. You will gain experience in your specific role, but also learn more about various other roles and gain many different skills”.

Kyle, achieved his NVQ Level 3 and advanced Apprenticeship Framework in Carpentry through Bridgend, said: “I am grateful that Y Prentis was able to secure me a placement, which meant I was able to continue and complete my apprenticeship through them and find full-time employment in the industry”. Since completing his apprenticeship Kyle has been in self- employment, with one of the largest carpentry companies in South East Wales. We recently caught up with Kyle, to find out how he is doing and how the #Here2Help initiative helped him to get to where he is now. He is really enjoying working as a carpenter and is well on his way to reaching his dream. “Hopefully I will start doing up houses by myself one day. My aim is to buy, renovate and sell houses”, adding that, “I would like to offer work to other trades people”.

Nicola Murray, Assistant Manager at Y Prentis added, “I’m really pleased for Kyle that Y Prentis was able to help him to complete his apprenticeship, and hopefully Kyle will be in a position to return the favour one day, by hosting an apprentice through Y Prentis”.

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