Apprenticeships on the agenda at Cardiff and Vale College finance industry business breakfast
The cream of Cardiff’s financial and professional services industry have attended an event showcasing the work of Further Education institutions in this strongly developing field.
The business breakfast held in The Classroom, Cardiff and Vale College’s fifth floor restaurant at its City Centre Campus was held to highlight the importance of apprenticeships in finance and professional services. The event, in the heart of Cardiff’s Financial and Professional Services Enterprise Zone, was held in partnership between CAVC and Deloitte, the UK’s largest professional services company.
The breakfast came hot on the heels of CAVC launching the Apprenticeship Training Agency South East Wales City Region. The first such agency in Wales, this independent company will take a lot of the pressure off businesses who want to hire apprentices by acting as a broker; effectively hiring apprentices and matching them to employers.
CAVC already operates a similar apprenticeship with Deloitte, having launched the programme last year. One of the speakers at the business breakfast was the Director of Deloitte’s Cardiff Delivery Centre, Ross Flannigan.
“Events such as this are really important in helping us to share how beneficial apprentices are – it’s a relatively new concept for us,” Ross said. “We need to give as much exposure as we can to the benefits and value apprentices can bring to this area – and show that apprenticeships can be a real viable alternative to higher education.”
Several Deloitte apprentices and their mentors were also present at the breakfast event. One of them, Rob Young, said: “I wanted to work in the financial sector and I thought university was going to be the only way in. Then I came across this apprenticeship opportunity and I realised I was going to be getting the same qualification while earning a salary at the same time.
“It’s been absolutely great and I’m recommending it to all of my family and friends – my brothers want to work in the same industry so I’ve recommended it to them.”
Also speaking at the event was Welsh Government Head of Apprenticeships Sam Huckle. She said: “By investing an additional £5m, the Welsh Government has been able to broaden the scope and reach of apprenticeships and expand our ‘earning and learning approach’ which we believe will help Wales remain internationally competitive.
“We will continue to work with our providers and employers to deliver our priorities for apprenticeships. These include raising the number of school leavers going on to high quality apprenticeships, a sharper focus on Higher Level apprenticeships, which is what happens in the most successful European countries, and developing apprenticeships in Engineering and Manufacturing as well as expanding the growing areas of Professional, Digital and Creative Apprenticeships.”
Executive Director of the National Skills Academy for Financial Services Nigel Benton also talked about the importance of apprenticeships in this growing sector. “Ten years ago apprentices in the financial and professional services sector were seen as very unusual,” he said. “When we mentioned apprentices to employers they would think of someone wearing blue overalls carrying a spanner. In the last ten years I am pleased to say we have seen the take-up of apprentices has improved; there are more people taking on apprentices and there are more training providers.”
He went on to say: “Organisations like Cardiff and Vale College are warehouses of talent. Smart employers will look at an organisation like this and will work with it to bring in new recruits that reflect the local community and what the sector needs.”