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Jun 2014 / Company

Published: South Wales Argus & Wrexham Leader

Young people in Wales are learning to love traineeships as the scheme continues to prove its worth as a popular descendant to the mighty apprenticeship in accessing the world of work.

Those based in Gwent and the surrounding areas risk missing out these key routes to employment, however, because a large proportion are not aware of their eligibility for funding support says Wales’ largest training provider ACT Training.

Launched to equip 16 to 18 year-olds with the ‘work ready’ skills they need to progress into employment or further work-based learning such as apprenticeships, the length and content of a traineeship varies but can involve work-placements, volunteer opportunities and other training that allow the learner to ‘dip their toe’ into various fields.

Traineeships also offer the opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’, paying up to £50 a week – and do not affect any child benefits a learner’s family might receive.

Tailored to suit the individual concerned, the flexibility and individuality provided by the traineeship means it is increasingly proving its place as viable alternative pathway to success when it comes to vocational employment opportunities.

As such ACT Training has additional spaces available on a range of courses at its Caerphilly centre just waiting to be filled, in areas including beauty, construction, customer service, hairdressing, hospitality, catering, motor vehicle maintenance and retail.

ACT Training Caerphilly Centre Manager, Rhiannon Perry, said: “We have a whole host of placement opportunities open to prospective employees not just within Caerphilly itself, but across neighbouring areas including Gwent too.

“We are finding that a lot of these opportunities remain unfulfilled, however, due to a general misunderstanding that taking advantage of these somehow affects other household benefits, which is simply not true.”

As a result, Carol Moseley is ACT Training’s new Recruitment Co-ordinator, hired as its first community-based representative to raise further awareness of the benefits the scheme can bring in finding employment in partnership with schools and other local organisations.

Carol said: “Changes to the university system and developments in our economy are leading our young people to think about alternative routes to employment and how they can best prepare themselves for work in other ways.

Traineeships are a perfect opportunity for school leavers to explore their strengths before committing to a specific training pathway, and develop the right attitude and skills employers are increasingly looking for in new recruits, often over qualifications alone.”

Carol continued: “Taking up a traineeship allows school leavers and other young people to go on work placement with a top employer in Wales, and ultimately provides them with the chance to impress a range of prospective employers in the process.

“I’ll be working with schools, charities and a range of community organisations to take the stigma out of learning and remind everyone that not everyone fits into one box – there are options out there for everyone.”

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