Nov 2014 / Learners

 Published: South Wales Argus

A Caerphilly patisserie has found the perfect recipe for business success after employers in the locality helped prove the benefits of an initiative aimed at getting more young people into the workplace.

Learners and businesses across Wales are feeling the positive effects of a rise in profile for traineeships, which were introduced as a pre-cursor to the more traditional apprenticeship in 2013 and are proving especially popular with employers in Caerphilly County, among other areas.

Now Wales’ largest training provider ACT Training is calling on more businesses in Wales to show their support for the scheme amid general concerns that not enough employers are aware of the benefits traineeships can offer both the learner and the company concerned.

In Caerphilly this success has been demonstrated by Blackwood trainee Jason Shuck and his new employer Terry’s Patisserie in Aberbargoed, which has just taken Jason on full time after he proved his worth during a traineeship placement organised by ACT and subsequently went on to complete an apprenticeship with the catering business.

Jason, 20, said: “It’s great to be out in the world of work so soon after finishing school, and learning the tricks of the baking trade with help from the staff at Terry’s. Completing my traineeship helped me to realise that catering was what I really wanted to do, so having the support of the patisserie in coming to this decision was amazing in that respect.”

Created to provide learners aged 16 to 18 with access to a variety of trial work placement opportunities lasting up to six months each, the traineeship is proving a big hit with students and businesses alike across Wales.

Terry’s Patisserie founder Terry Williams said: “For smaller businesses like ours the process of recruiting someone new can be quite stressful, in terms of the time it takes to find a candidate with the right skills for you, and the potential impact such decisions can have on your existing workforce as a whole.

“Having Jason join us as a trainee has been nothing short of a success from our perspective, and has given us the time and space we needed both practically and financially to make the kind of decisions that were right for us in developing our brand further.”

ACT Training has teamed up with employers across Wales to deliver the scheme after it was introduced in August 2013 to support younger learners in developing workplace relevant skills, but is finding a lot of businesses are still missing out on the benefits traineeships can bring to their own operations too.

Andrew Cooksley, Managing Director at ACT Training, said: “The traineeship has brought with it the opportunity for scores of young people to prepare themselves for their future careers, and more importantly create a solid and considered base on which to build their working life moving forward.

“In turn employers and businesses are increasingly being empowered to grow the leaders of the future without the need to start from scratch, and the traineeship will undoubtedly prove particularly pertinent in ensuring that youth unemployment continues on its downward trend at a faster rate in Wales than anywhere else in the UK.”

Andrew continued: “From a business perspective the traineeship presents companies in Wales with so many potential benefits, both now and in the future, that can and should not be ignored by any employer in Wales, therefore, no matter how big or small.”