A partnership between Coleg y Cymoedd and one of UK’s leading electronics manufacturers has been declared ‘Development Partnership of the Year’ at the Insider Business and Education Partnerships Awards 2016.
The competition saw the college and Newbridge-based, Axiom Manufacturing Services, compete against some of Wales’ leading employers and further education colleges including, Deloitte and Cardiff and Vale College, Aneurin Bevan Health Board and Coleg Gwent, and, Skills Academy Wales and the NPTC Group of Colleges.
The partnership to create a bespoke apprenticeship programme began in 2011, its aim is to address the UK wide industry skills gap at a local level. Contract electronics manufacture, Axiom, sought to launch new careers in technology manufacturing in Wales, and required a further education partner with the ability to inspire and support new generations of Welsh talent to see manufacturing as a desirable career path.
The result is a three-to-four-year programme that delivers a focused approach to apprenticeship training by addressing current skill bases, and identifying areas for further upskilling. The partnership also enables Coleg y Cymoedd to ensure that the training it provides matches the exact skill sets that employers require from those entering the electronics and engineering sectors.
In addition to their college studies, Axiom apprentices also gain invaluable real world experience working with one of the UK’s leading contract electronics manufacturers. During their three to four-year apprenticeships, apprentices spend their first 12 months at Axiom rotating around every department in the business.
Commenting on the awards success Axiom’s Managing Director, David Davies, said: “Wales’ world class manufacturing industry provides exciting and diverse career opportunities for young people. Developing new talent is something we, as a company, are extremely passionate about. Our collaboration with Coleg y Cymoedd is very much about creating a long-term, skilled workforce for the company and engaging learners to recognise the career potential our industry offers.
“Recruiting people early in their career ensures their training fits our way of working and company ethos; it guarantees high-quality employees throughout our business. The college understands our need to recruit learners with the skill and the will to progress their development, and we’re committed to helping them engage all leaners to realise the potential that Welsh industry offers.”
To date, the scheme has recruited, trained, retained and supported ongoing development of eleven apprentices. However, each year the scheme has attracted an average 30 applicants per vacancy. As a result, Axiom has committed to taking on a minimum of two young people each academic year.
Matthew Tucker, Director of Business Services at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “This award is a recognition of the outstanding results this partnership has, and continues to deliver. We are proud of the longstanding relationships we have built with employers like Axiom Manufacturing Services.
“Successful businesses like Axiom need well trained and qualified staff who are able to meet the specific and often changing demands of their sector. Our role is to work in partnership with businesses and their employees and potential employees to ensure they have the knowledge and skills employers are calling for.”