Our News

24 March 2014

Training company JTL gives a surprise gift to CAVC construction apprentices

More than 130 apprentice electricians working towards their apprenticeships with leading national training provider JTL were surprised last week to be presented with a gift during their weekly day release attendance at Cardiff and Vale College. JTL’s Regional Manager for Wales, Martin Laye, announced to the assembled apprentices that there was a gift waiting for them.

To their surprise and amazement they were each presented with a free set of tools valued at more than £150, especially selected by the company to help young electricians, through a partnership that has been forged between JTL and leading British tool manufacturer Monument Tools.

The tool kits - in dedicated JTL/Monument tool bags - were handed out by JTL’s Martin Laye, and JTL Training officers Phil Rees and Simeon Thomas, helped by Head of Department at Cardiff and Vale College Gary Collins and Tutor Jon Bowen. Cardiff and Vale is the leading college for JTL apprentices in South Wales with around 300 apprentices currently attending the college over the four years of the apprenticeship programme.

“This was a valuable added extra we are delighted we are able to offer these young people,” Martin Laye said. “We like to think it’s the ability to do this kind of thing that helps our apprentices to make a great start to their apprenticeships. Our annual regional and national awards help us to publicly recognise the quality apprentices we work with and being able to offer this kind of added value extra means we are able to give the apprentices the best chance of completing their apprenticeship on time and with top marks for the work they do.”

One of the apprentices to receive the tool kits was Elliott Smith who works for J W Bowkett Ltd in Newport: “These are excellent tools that will help me significantly,” he said. “It’s not unusual for apprentices to get ‘hand me down’ tools from their employers that maybe have seen better days, so getting a set of brand new tools makes a huge difference. There was no expectation of getting these - but it gives the impression that we’re trusted and valued – I’m delighted with them. Just quite surprised! It makes it worthwhile looking after them well – and jealously!”

JTL apprentices work with their employer for four days a week and spend a day a week at Cardiff and Vale College to build on their practical knowledge and to be taught theory as well. Working towards an apprenticeship with JTL offers the best of both worlds – the support – including day to day support from a locally based training officer – from a national training supplier combined with the high quality locally based training through the local college – in this case, Cardiff and Vale College.

JTL is part of the Quality Skills Alliance (QSA), the QSA is a unique consortium of work based learning providers working together to develop excellence in apprenticeships. Since establishing in August 2011 the QSA has delivered thousands of apprenticeships for apprentices and employers across Wales and beyond. 

“We currently have nearly 400 apprentices working towards their electrical qualifications in Wales – around 80 in North Wales and around 300 here in South Wales, in Newport, Cardiff and Swansea mainly,” said Martin Laye. “These apprenticeships are part-financed by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government and via Cardiff and Vale College. We’re passionate about developing the next generation of electricians and plumbers in Wales, as these tool kit gifts illustrate.

"We’re constantly on the look-out for new apprentices to sign on to our scheme, wanting to go down the apprenticeship route in the electrical or heating and plumbing sectors. With the upturn in the economy there will be an increasing demand for bright young people to fill new jobs in Wales, working in industry and on building and construction projects, for employers that are already seeing growing demand for their skills.”