THE POLICE force tasked with safeguarding the largest land area in Wales has transformed its recruitment process after reaping the rewards from its work-based learning programmes.
Dyfed-Powys Police employs more than 2,000 personnel who cover vast swathes of Mid and West Wales, safeguarding 515,000 people along with hundreds of thousands of visitors that flood into the area every year.
Since introducing its Apprenticeship Programme in 2016, the force has recruited an impressive 200 apprentices, with more than 150 currently employed across the organisation and undertaking any one of 10 courses provided by up to nine learning providers.
In recognition of its commitment to apprenticeships, Dyfed Powys Police has been shortlisted for the Large Employer of the Year award at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021.
This annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships will see 35 finalists compete in 12 categories for awards. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on April 29.
Highlight of the work-based learning calendar, the awards showcase businesses and individuals who have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes and gone the extra mile to achieve success during these unprecedented times.
The awards are jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Openreach, the UK’s digital network business and passionate supporter of apprenticeships, has renewed its headline sponsorship of the awards.
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
“Through hiring local apprentices, we have been able to move away from traditional recruitment practices and assess candidates based on motivation and values rather than experience,” said PC Angela Williams, professional development officer with Dyfed Powys Police’s Learning and Development Services.
“Apprentices are hungry to learn and keen to experience hard work in the workplace in order to find their role in our organisation. On successful completion of their programme, our apprentices go on to become excellent ambassadors and help to attract the future waves of talented people.”
With each Apprenticeship Programme tailored to the force’s needs, Dyfed-Powys Police is able to adapt programmes in line with the roles that individuals are carrying out to ensure that the learning is applicable for the service that they provide to the public.
As well as opening the door to new recruits, internal careers fairs encourage staff members to involve themselves in their own career development and progression, leading to plugging the skills gaps with highly skilled, knowledgeable and motivated individuals.
“Dyfed-Powys Police has built an impressive track record through work-based learning, which is evident in the numbers of staff that have successfully graduated from Gower College Swansea,” said Judith Lyle, Gower College Swansea’s tutor/assessor.
“This is what makes them not only a good employer, but a great company for recognition of their staff by delivering Apprenticeship Programmes to enhance the achievement of the aims and objectives set by the Police and Crime Commissioner.”
Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said: “Our Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes are helping people fulfil their career ambitions and I’m delighted we have already reached our target of creating 100,000 apprenticeships in this Senedd term.
“This has been key in helping apprentices of all ages to gain important skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need. This will be vital as we emerge from the pandemic.
“Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of all involved, from star apprentices to skilled learning providers.
“I’d like to congratulate all the finalists announced for this year’s event and wish each and every one all the best for the future.”