Unique Junior Apprenticeship programme for 14-16 year-olds launched
A cohort of more than fifty 14-16 year-olds have been given an opportunity to transform their lives through a unique initiative launched by Cardiff and Vale College.
Jointly funded by CAVC, City of Cardiff Council and Cardiff Schools, the Junior Apprenticeship programme was launched in September 2016 in a bid to increase the number of young people in the region in education, employment and training at the age of 16 by providing an alternative and more vocational route to a future career.
The programme offers an opportunity for young people to study full-time for a future career in a college setting from the age of 14 under the guidance of industry qualified teachers in specialist vocational facilities and real work environments, whilst also continuing to sit GCSEs in English and Maths.
The only programme for 14-16 year-olds of its kind in Wales, the learners go to college, instead of school, to study five days a week during term time towards industry qualifications in either automotive, catering & hospitality, construction, creative, customer services, hairdressing & beauty or public services with all guaranteed a place at CAVC on a higher level course or apprenticeship when successfully completing year 11.
Kay Martin, Deputy Principal of Cardiff and Vale College, explains;
“We are extremely proud to be the first college in Wales to provide such a unique opportunity for young people to start training for their future career at the age of 14.
“By having a ‘one size fits all’ approach to education we risk having a negative impact on the future of young people. Through their ‘Cardiff Commitment’ the City of Cardiff Council have pledged to improve youth engagement and progression in a bid to lower the number of young people not in education, employment or training and we’re delighted to be working in partnership with them on our Junior Apprenticeship programme that is engaging with 14-16 year-olds and offering them an alternative option to getting a step ahead in starting a great career.
“60 young people enrolled with the College in September. In this first term we have seen a fantastic reaction from the pupils demonstrating good levels of attendance, engagement and motivation. I look forward to seeing the results of their hard work, seeing each succeed and progress and the programme develop and grow to offer a wider variety of apprenticeship options over the next few years.”
Leader of the city of Cardiff Council, Phil Bale said:
“As a city council we have a clear determination to make sure that every young person accesses training, employment or further education after they finish school, so that they can make the most of the opportunities that life can bring.
“The junior apprenticeship partnership between the city council and Cardiff and Vale College gives the young people of Cardiff another option to develop new skills through vocational learning.
“The early intervention and prevention work of the city council to reduce the number of young people not in education, employment or training, along with the courses delivered by Cardiff and Vale College is helping the junior apprentices to develop the skills and confidence to succeed.”
And some of the young people are already seeing the benefits of enrolling on the Junior Apprenticeship programme:
Tyrese Jones, 15, Cardiff, is training for a career in construction and said;
“I wasn’t doing well at school. School wasn’t really the right place for me. I want to work in construction, I would like to work in plumbing. This course has been really good for me and it will help me in my career.”
Abbie Horne, 16, Cardiff, is developing knowledge, skill and industry qualifications in Hospitality and Catering, and said:
“My mum found out about junior apprenticeships from my school so she came to the College for a meeting. I didn’t really like school. I’m enjoying this course a lot more than I did school. I want to go and work in catering – in the future I want to open my own bakery and this course will help with that.”
Rachael Weston, 14, Cardiff, is working studying Digital Media, and said:
“It’s been really good, you feel a lot more independent and you feel less judged and I feel you can be more free. I’m not really sure what I want to go on and do but I want to do something in the media. Digital art is something I do as a hobby but I’m not sure what I want to do yet. I do want a career in the creative industries and this course will help with that.”
14-16 year-olds in the Cardiff region interested in joining the Junior Apprenticeship programme with Cardiff and Vale College need to speak to their Head of Year at school or lead person where they are currently registered to learn. The College is unable to take direct applications.