Posted on: Tuesday 7 August 2018
Over the past year seventeen young people from across Torfaen have become successful in completing the Torfaen Youth Service’s apprenticeship programme, where most have taken their next steps into higher education, completing a degree in Youth Work at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Olivia Williams (left) age 19 from Pontypool, Lily Skyrme age 21 from Blaenavon and Ellis Dalling age 18 from Cwmbran are the latest cohort to have passed the programme and will be starting a degree course in late September.
The apprenticeships are advertised via Careers Wales, and there is an interview process. Many of the young people have already had hands on experience with youth work, having been involved with Torfaen Youth Service as service users, where they take part in a house senior members training programme, before applying.
On completing the apprenticeship Lily Skyrme said: "This apprenticeship program has helped me to mature into a person who is now ready to start a career. Before I started the apprenticeship I hadn’t had a job before, but this has given me the skills and knowledge that is needed to pursue a career in youth work.
It has given me the opportunity to enrol into university, something I felt that I would not be able to achieve. The programme has also given me the confidence to put myself out there and do the things that I have always wanted to do but never felt I could".
The apprenticeship youth work programme originally started in 2016 and is a working partnership approach between Torfaen Youth Service and Torfaen Training. It offers level two and three courses for young people interested in sourcing a career in Youth Work. Apprentices are hired as trainees on a programme that consists of taught and work based learning sessions which take place over a 12 month period and ensures paid employment for 30 hours a week on an apprenticeship wage. Apprentices who successfully complete this apprenticeship will have accomplished qualifications recognised as expressed within the JNC framework in England and Wales for Youth Work.
Torfaen Youth service has this year worked in partnership with Volunteering Matters, seeking them to up-skill their apprentices through their Mind Matters programme, this aids the apprentices in supporting young people with their emotional wellbeing.
Torfaen Youth Service Manager, David Williams said: "The young people who take part in this programme continue to amaze and astound us. They are such a valuable addition to the youth service team, bringing an energy and enthusiasm to all that they do. It is so rewarding so see them grow in confidence, build meaningful relationships with the young people they work with and develop their skills in so many ways.
A special mention goes to Kim Thomas of Torfaen Youth Service, Kim has built the programme from the ground up and supports the apprentices in such a caring and professional manner. I know that she would say that she is so proud of all of them and they have helped her as much as she has undoubtedly helped hem."
If you are keen on working within the Youth Service, the next round of apprenticeships went live on the 6 August 2018 and can be found on the Careers Wales website. To find out more information about Torfaen Youth apprenticeships, please contact Kim Thomas on 079766493724 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.