aids recruitment

Scott Harris and Daniel Southall

Employers from many different sectors are stepping up their efforts to identify bright new talent to recruit onto their apprenticeship programmes using

Increasing numbers of firms and organisations are logging into the Apprenticeship Matching Service (AMS) run by Careers Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government to help employers find youngsters with the potential to meet the skill needs in their workforces.

Apprenticeships are delivered in a number of sectors, including insurance and banking, management, customer service, administration, retailing, warehousing and distribution, learning and development, IT, manufacturing, hospitality, engineering and contact centre. The apprenticeship programmes in Wales, are financed by the Welsh Government and part funded by the European Social Fund.

The free online service provides a rapid route for businesses to promote job vacancies and to narrow down the list of those with qualities and qualifications that match the apprenticeship jobs they have on offer. Both employers and prospective apprentices log on to the Careers Wales site to use the service.

The number of Welsh employers posting details of apprenticeship opportunities through the Apprenticeship Matching Service has increased steadily since its launch a year ago. So too has the number of job hunters visiting the site in search of apprenticeships. Latest figures show that the number of monthly hits had risen to almost 700,000.

Paul Phillips, HR manager at chemical manufacturer Solutia, used the matching service this summer to recruit two apprentices covering mechanical engineering for the firm’s 175-worker plant at Newport.

By using the online service 50 young people who had applied for the two vacancies were identified with the right background for consideration. Following screening by training partners Newport and Gwent Training Association, the firm interviewed a dozen candidates before appointing two – Scott Harris, 21 and Daniel Southall,18,who have just started the four-year apprenticeship programme.

Paul commented: “It was a very efficient process. Within three months of placing the initial notice with the Apprenticeship Matching Service, we had our chosen candidates walking through the door. We were very pleased with the quality of the applicants we received.”

He explained that, following a break of around 15 years, when no apprentices were recruited, Solutia starting hiring apprentices again about six years ago and this type of training now forms an important part of the company’s development plan.

Paul said: “Apprentices are increasingly important to us. Because of the age demographic of the current workforce it is very important that we recruit fresh talent regularly and train them in the skills we require; including electrical and mechanical skills,” he said. The training combines on-the-job instruction with block release modules with external training providers, including Newport and Gwent Training Association.

Deputy Minister for Skills Jeff Cuthbert hailed the growing success of the apprenticeship matching service: He said: “By helping employers to find the right young people, the service is encouraging more businesses to invest in apprenticeship training to develop the skills that they and the Welsh economy need for the future. This structured approach to training young people plays a crucial part in creating the workforce we need to be competitive.”

Take a look at the Apprenticeship Matching Service.

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