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Deputy Minister awards candidates with vocational qualifications certificates
Deputy Minister for Skills Jeff Cuthbert AM has awarded a number of apprentices with certificates for taking part in programmes brand new to Wales.
More than 100 people attended an event at the Millennium Centre organised by Asset Skills to mark a project which has transformed the training landscape for hundreds of staff in facilities management (FM), housing, property, planning and cleaning.
The Minister heard from candidates such as Jason Moss who took the new Facilities Management Apprenticeship.
"For me personally the timing and introduction of the Apprenticeship in FM was perfect," said Jason, who works in the Residential Management Department for Rowland Jones Chartered Surveyors in Swansea. "The course has enabled me to combine the theory with the practical aspect and has given me confidence in my own ability and also the opportunity progress further in my chosen career."
Employers in FM, cleaning, housing and property also praised the programme, including Eddie Ratcliffe, Operations Director at OCS Group. The support services firm has a number of Welsh employees taking the Facilities Management Apprenticeship and the Cleaning Apprenticeship.
"This commitment to professional development is at the heart of up-skilling our people, helping them to grow in confidence and importantly, supporting our commitment to customer service," he said.
The apprenticeships are offered as part of the Sector Priorities Fund Pilot programme, funded by the Welsh Government with additional support from the European Social Fund.
The Deputy Minister awarded a number of candidates with certificates to mark their achievements as the first people to undertake these qualifications in Wales.
"The demand for this programme has been massive with Welsh employers oversubscribing the original candidate target fourfold in some qualifications," said Steven Proudfoot, Chief Operating Officer at Asset Skills, the Sector Skills Council for FM, housing, property, planning and cleaning.
"The programme brought new qualifications to Wales that were previously unavailable. We have been able to put 230 candidates through courses - it's had a really positive effect on these industries throughout a very difficult time."
The Sector Priorities Fund Pilot programme was launched in 2010 and provides funding for strategic projects delivered by Sector Skills Councils which will pilot delivery of skills that are more responsive and aligned to the needs of employers. The project will also fund Labour Market Intelligence to identify future skills and training that will be required by employers.
The programme is pan Wales, managed by the Welsh Government, supported by the European Social Fund in Convergence areas.
The qualifications covered by this Asset Skills project include:
* Apprenticeships in facilities management, housing and surveying
* Foundation apprenticeships in cleaning and housing
* Skills for Supporting Public Services (level 2 NVQ)
* Local Environmental Services (level 2 NVQ)
* The National Federation of Property Professionals (NFOPP) Technical Awards in: the Sale of Residential Property, and 2) Residential Lettings and Property Management
Most of the qualifications are fully funded, but some require a contribution from the employer.
A range of projects are now in progress and will run until 31st December 2011, many involving Apprenticeships or other skills initiatives. These projects will also inform further policy on skills delivery in Wales.
For more on the Sector Priorities Fund Pilot contact Chris Perrin (Welsh Government) on:
15th December 2011