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Apprenticeships inspire a passion for education at primary school

Back L-R: Headteacher David Thomas; Achieve More Training's Leah Wilde and Sebastian Vidal with centre L-R: apprentices Ceri Tait, Ruby Rose and Rebecca Jenkins; and young pupils at Ysgol Maes y Felin, Holywell

Apprenticeships have made a major contribution to Ysgol Maes y Felin meeting its commitment to provide a supportive and caring environment that sparks a lifelong love for learning.

The primary school in Holywell currently has five apprentices but has employed 27 over the past five years. Apprenticeships from Levels 2 to 5 in Specialist Teaching and Learning Services, Physical Education and School Sport and ILM Leadership & Management are delivered in partnership with Achieve More Training.

Acting headteacher David Thomas says the partnership works well and is achieving the school’s mission to nurture talent, broaden horizons and encourage self-belief.

Now, the school has been shortlisted for the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2024 as a Medium Employer of the Year finalist.

Highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, the awards are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Headline sponsor is EAL.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held at ICC Wales, Newport on March 22, 2024. The awards highlight the outstanding achievements of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.

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By nurturing, mentoring and investing in the growth of apprentices, Ysgol Maes y Felin cultivates a loyal and skilled workforce which provides high quality education for pupils. 

Apprenticeships are tailored to the needs of individual learners, with those aspiring to become teachers receiving personalised support to develop their instructional skills. 

Digital tools, online platforms, educational software and virtual reality simulations are used to offer interactive and engaging learning opportunities.

To help with recruitment and staff retention, initiatives to address youth unemployment have been introduced and apprenticeships are promoted in the local community and on social media channels.

“By offering apprenticeships, we have been able to tap into a pool of talented individuals who bring fresh perspectives, innovative ideas and a passion for education,” said Mr Thomas. “Their contributions have positively influenced the overall productivity, effectiveness and success of the school.

“Apprenticeships have helped us foster a culture of continuous learning and professional development, elevating the overall quality of our staff.”

Matthew Hilliker, Achieve More Training’s Director, praised the school’s exceptional commitment to developing and delivering an outstanding apprenticeship programme. 

“By collaborating with Achieve More Training, the school ensures that the programme remains relevant and meets the evolving needs of learners and the education sector,” he said.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated Ysgol Maes Y Felin and all the other finalists. “Today’s apprentices will be tomorrow’s specialists, and Apprenticeship Awards Cymru allows us to recognise apprentices, work-based learning practitioners, and employers that have gone above and beyond,” he said.

“Their tenacity, passion, and commitment to growing their own careers, the careers of others, and the larger Welsh economy is inspiring. I wish each of the finalists the best of luck at the awards and with their future endeavours.”

Congratulating the finalists, Al Parkes, managing director at EAL, said: “As the specialist awarding organisation and skills partner for the engineering and manufacturing industry, apprenticeships in Wales are especially important to us.

“Apprenticeships play an important role in supporting personal progress through career opportunities and a sense of achievement, while ensuring that employers have the right skills at the right time to keep up with evolving industry needs.

“EAL is committed to encouraging employers to take on apprentices. Marking the achievements of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru is vital to this.”

For more information about recruiting an apprentice, visit: https://gov.wales/apprenticeships-genius-decision or call 03000 603000.

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