Insights from our meet the employer event

In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, in partnership with CITB, we proudly hosted a ‘meet the employer’ event at Coleg Sir-Gar’s Ammanford Campus on Tuesday and Thursday. With over 100 students attending, the event served as an informative session showcasing potential apprenticeships and outlining diverse career pathways available within the construction sector.

Apprenticeships blend hands-on training with classroom teaching, creating a balanced learning environment for students to gain the essential skills and knowledge required for success in the industry. Within the world of construction, apprenticeships span across various disciplines such as carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, bricklaying, and more. Typically lasting between two and four years, these apprenticeships lead to learners attaining a recognised qualification, implemented what they have learnt on-site and progressing onto employment.

Alongside members of our team, we welcomed companies, Westward Energy, Bouygues, Elexor Engineering, TAD Builders Ltd, Lloyd & Gravell Ltd, Carmarthenshire County Council, Elijah Homes Ltd and Cyfle Building Skills, to guide students through what opportunities await post-college qualification, in their respective trades and company frameworks.

Mark Whitby from CITB (the Construction Industry Training Board) explained for students the dynamic nature of opportunities in the construction sector. He highlighted that these opportunities extend across a spectrum, encompassing both smaller domestic projects and larger construction sites.

Employers at the event also eagerly encouraged students to explore work experience opportunities, offering valuable advice on how to enhance their resumes, emphasising the importance of standing out as apprenticeship schemes become increasingly competitive.

Rhys Fisher from Cyfle Building Skills showed students the brilliant prospects available at Cyfle, to post college apprenticeship spaces to short-term paid work experience. Unlike traditional apprenticeship schemes, Cyfle offers a ‘shared’ apprenticeship programme, which allows apprentices to complete a full apprenticeship by working with several different employers, to gain the skills they need for qualification. With recruitment for the next intake beginning in April and 15-20 spaces up for grabs, several students showed great interest!

For students looking for more site experience and to bulk out their CV, it was explained that Cyfle offers equally immersive work experience through its South West Wales Onsite Hub initiative. Upon contacting the company, students can experience 10 days of working on site, receiving a basic toolkit on arrival and £200 after successfully completing work experience.

Reflecting the success of an apprenticeship, Jonathan Roberts, part-owner in Elexor Engineering, shared his apprenticeship story, which began at Cyfle Building Skills! Jonathan showcased the highlights of his career so far, which included a project working for the Ministry of Defence! Championing being ‘a jack of all trades’, Jonathan encouraged students to take as many learning opportunities as possible, as the construction industry can open doors worldwide.

Lynette Daniels, training manager at CCTAL said,

“Preparing our students for success is not just about teaching skills; it’s about opening doors to a world of possibilities “

“Seeing the students listen to employers and chat about the extensive opportunities was amazing. In a competitive industry, we’re here to help students land a career they’re passionate about, and the first step to that is a great apprenticeship!”