The scheme was established between industry, education and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council. It is funded via Welsh Government and Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone to facilitate and support local businesses with recruitment of apprentices with an aim of filling the growing skills gap within local manufacturing.
During the initial start-up of the scheme, focus was placed on engineering. However the programme has developed into providing apprenticeship placements into a wide range of fields that includes Mechanical Engineering, Financial, I.T and Commercial Apprenticeship pathways.
Aspire is continuing to be delivered successfully through a network of partnership working that includes local companies, education providers and local community groups.
Cllr Dai Davies Executive Member for Economic Development from Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council Said:
“Whilst in placements, the apprentices learn new skills in their chosen fields and getting real life experience from these companies. Through the scheme they also continue on their education path. To date we are working with 15 host employers and now have 52 apprentices placed in these companies. I want to congratulate those who have continued with their placements and welcome our new recruits who recently started.”
“The scheme has gone from strength to strength. Aspire in Merthyr was set up earlier in the year based on the success of the Blaenau Gwent scheme. We are always working to enhance the programme; there are plans in the pipeline for a Technology Centre and Learning Hub to enhance the learning skills for apprentices and companies from the area.”
Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Eluned Morgan said: “Aspire is an excellent scheme that has seen employers, education providers, local government and the Welsh Government all work together, to revive engineering apprentices in the area. It ensures that there are excellent training opportunities for people in Ebbw Vale as well ensuring employers can find people with the correct skills to help their businesses thrive.
“I congratulate all those winning awards and all those involved in creating such an innovative programme that addresses the needs of both small businesses and apprentices in Ebbw Vale.”
Aspire continues to collaborate with host employers to find new placements. Every year the team works with the education sector and the community to highlight the placement opportunities available for young people. It has expanded to work with schools to raise the profile of apprenticeship schemes and the importance of engineering techniques and electronic skills in order to raise local aspirations for the future. This has been delivered in partnership with the Eden Lego Education Centre.
During the recent celebration ceremony; year 1 and year 2 apprentices were presented with certificates to recognise their work and achievements whilst they are continuing with their placements. The following were also recognised:
David Evans , Host G-TEM - Role Model of the Year 2017.
Iwan Davies, Host Sogefi - Rising Star 2017
Richard Miles, Host Base Handling Mentors Awards 2017
Continental Teves, Host Employer 2017
Jordan Impey, Host - Eurocaps - Aspire Apprentice of the Year 2017