The Welsh broadcaster, S4C has invested in apprenticeships as part of its commitment to training and developing skills locally.
Since relocating its headquarters to Canolfan S4C Yr Egin in Carmarthen, the company has hired three more apprentices.
S4C Chief Executive Owen Evans said apprentices will allow the company to plug the skills gap within the creative and media industry, not only locally, but in Wales as a whole.
He said: “We wanted to find a way to bring new talent, new ideas and relevant skills into the business. Recruiting apprentices was the obvious choice, because we wanted to target the knowledgeable individuals in the area that want to start their career in the industry and would normally have to move to Cardiff or even further afield.
“An apprenticeship training route meant that we could also develop a training programme to make sure that staff had the exact skills we needed.”
The Carmarthen site – Canolfan S4C Yr Egin houses the channel’s corporate, communications, finance, human resources, business affairs and legal departments.
He said: “We decided to recruit apprentices into three specific roles; finance, social media and business affairs as we felt that these specialisms would benefit the most from fresh ideas and new skills.
“Our target audience is expanding and we’re creating content for a much younger audience so it’s important that our workforce reflects that.
“Even in the very short time that we’ve had our apprentices on board, they’ve made a huge impact on the business, helping to create capacity in the team and bringing creative solutions to the table.
S4C currently employs 110 staff split between Carmarthen, Cardiff and Caernarfon in Gwynedd.
Owen continued: “We’re also lucky here that we’re able to run our apprenticeships through the medium of Welsh. By developing individuals through the medium of Welsh, we’re investing in the future of the content we are producing on the channel, S4C as a business and the industry as a whole.”
Joseph Hughes, 18 from Neath is a Level 2 Finance apprentice.
He said: “When I left school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had an interest in the financial industry, as my dad is a Financial Controller and I’ve always been inspired by what he does. When I saw the apprenticeship at S4C, I jumped at the chance.”
Joseph attends Coleg Sir Gar in Carmarthen one day a week where he learns the theory behind his role.
He continued: “Since starting my apprenticeship at S4C, I’ve gained so much experience. I support the team on invoicing, credit checks, processing payments and processing business expenses. I’m enjoying every second, and now I know that this is the career route for me.”
Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, said: “Apprenticeships can provide the perfect avenue into work, allow companies to find, nurture and develop staff and ensure our economy is supported by a workforce equipped to tackle the challenges of today and which are ready for the opportunities of tomorrow.
“Apprenticeship Week Wales 2020 celebrates the important role apprenticeships play in the Welsh economy and should encourage business owners to consider the benefits that apprentices bring.
“With the uncertainty caused by Brexit it’s more important than ever for employers to plan for the future; future-proof their workforces and nurture the talent that exists within Wales.
“We are on track to meet its ambitious commitment to create 100,000 all-age, high-quality apprenticeships by the end of this Assembly.”
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
For more information about hiring an apprentice visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/skillsgateway/skills-and-training-programmes/apprenticeships, Visit Prentisiaethau cymru / Apprenticeships Cymru on Facebook or @apprenticewales on Twitter, and follow the story using the hashtag #AWWales.