Oct 2014 / Company

Published: Western Mail

As Skills Cymru, an interactive skills and careers event spanning two days, ends today at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, Andrew Cooksley, Managing Director of ACT Training explains why bridging the nation’s skills gap will be vital for Wales’ economic prosperity.

“Educationalists and training providers have undertaken significant work to revive the popularity of vocational training. The introduction of the traineeship in August 2011 specifically brought with it the opportunity for young people to better prepare themselves for their future careers and create a solid skill set on which to build their working life moving forward by offering learners aged 16 to 18 the opportunity to ‘try before they buy’, and access work placements in various disciplines before commiting to a particular field long term. A greater focus on the development of basic skills in particular have moved things on in vocational training, and there is an overall need to raise awareness of the fact that such training is available in fields like animal care , business administration and customer service, as well as traditional sectors like hairdressing or construction. Events like Skills Cymru help minimise the liklihood of skills gaps in the emerging workforce by offering young people the key information they need to make the right decisions at this important time in their lives, and I hope similar events will be considered in future to ensure such support continues.”