Minister for Economy meets Bridgend College apprentices as part of National Apprenticeship Week

The Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething MS, visited the Persimmon Academy in Llanilid on Thursday 9 February as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

The Minister met with Bridgend College apprentices and was given a tour of the academy, as well as joining two teaching sessions.

The Minister’s timely visit comes during National Apprenticeship Week, which raises awareness of the many benefits of apprenticeships. Earlier this week, the Minister for Economy urged businesses to employ more apprentices to provide a boost to Welsh industry. To encourage this, the Minister announced that the Welsh Government will be investing £366m over the next three years to provide approximately 125,000 apprenticeship opportunities across Wales. 

Simon Pirotte, Principal and CEO of Bridgend College, attended the visit and reflected:

“We are delighted to have welcomed Vaughan Gething MS to the Persimmon Academy and showcase the invaluable opportunities that our partnership has created for students. Apprenticeships allow our students to develop essential skills whilst receiving on-the-job training and, through our innovative partnership with Persimmon Homes, we are offering apprentices a route to an exceptional career pathway.”

The joint venture between Bridgend College and Persimmon Homes began in 2017, initially with apprentice bricklayers. Now in the sixth year of partnership, Bridgend College creates bespoke courses across various construction disciplines to provide students with all the skills they need to enter the industry. By tailoring courses to Persimmon Homes’ specific needs, the college is uniquely able to fill any skill shortage gaps.

Andy Edwards, Persimmon’s Managing Director for West Wales, said:

“Apprentices deliver huge value for our business as they bring new skills, energy and ways of working.”

“The partnership with Bridgend College is fundamentally important for the future of our business in South Wales, and is helping us secure a strong and talented long-term pipeline of local apprentices. We look forward to continuing to enhance the Academy and the first-class learning environment for the next generation of construction workers in South Wales.”

The partnership between the two organisations continues to go from strength-to-strength, having already created over 150 new job opportunities in construction across South Wales.

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