Deputy Minister for Skills & Technology, Julie James, visited leading re-use and recycling charity toogoodtowaste after learning that they recently created an opportunity within their electrical department for an apprentice to join the team. Following interviews, they were so impressed with the applicants that they decided to increase the opportunity to allow for two apprentices. Tomos Woods and Regan May are currently expanding their knowledge and skills on how to repair domestic electrical items like washing machines, cookers and fridge freezers.
Whilst learning the trade at toogoodtowaste they are both also continuing their studying for the NVQ Level 3 in Electrical Maintenance at Coleg y Cymoedd, having previously studied an extended National Diploma Level 3 Electrical & Electronic Engineering & an NVQ.
Deputy Minister for Skills & Technology, Julie James, went along to visit the Ynyshir branch of toogoodtowaste to welcome the two new apprentices and to find out more about the organisation. During her visit the Deputy Minister was very impressed with the work they do and the services that toogoodtowaste offer the local community.
Julie James said: ““We are proud to be delivering one of the most successful apprenticeship programmes in Europe, particularly in providing opportunity for younger entrants. The scheme at toogoodtowaste is an excellent example of how sustainable apprenticeships can support the environment, community and local businesses. We continue to encourage employers to come forward with new opportunities for young people across Wales, working together to address youth unemployment.
“Developing skilled young people is vital for our economy. The Welsh Government is committed to training schemes such as apprenticeships but they are a shared responsibility between the education sector, businesses, individuals as well as government.”
Lynda Davies, Chief Executive Officer at toogoodtowaste said: “In December 2013 the news headlines made sorry reading with over one million young people unemployed in Wales. I felt that if each small business was just to create one opportunity, we could make such a difference to young people. With the support of our trustees, we agreed that somehow we would find the money to create an apprentice opportunity within toogoodtowaste. Then with funding from the South East Wales Community Economic Development fund (SEWCED), we were able to exceed our goal and offer paid employment and continued training to these two great young people. They have already added value to this organisation, successfully completing their Portable Appliance Test certificate and assisting our qualified engineers in our domestic appliance test & repair service. We are now able to turnover more stock and offer more safe and fully tested appliances to our customers, including washing machines, cookers, fridge/freezers and small appliances such as music player, TV’s etc. I would recommend an apprentice programme to other organisations as a real opportunity to make a difference within our community. ”
In addition to the apprentices toogoodtowaste also offer volunteering opportunities, work based placements and school placements enabling individuals to learn new skills and enhance their CV which the Deputy Minister enjoyed learning more about.