A Caerphilly training centre is appealing to local employers to give its young learners chance to prove themselves in the job market by providing them with work placements.
ACT, based on the Pontygwindy Industrial Estate, exists to help young people, particularly NEETs (not in employment, education or training) gain qualifications which will hopefully lead to paid work placements, and ultimately successful careers.
There are currently around one million NEETs in the UK, and ACT, Wales’ largest work-based learning provider, is striving to make a significant dent in this number by offering 16 to 24-year-olds the opportunity to gain qualifications and to engage with employers.
ACT placement adviser Steve Chapman said that employers should have more of a social conscience and try to overlook the stigma that many people attach to young people.
Steve said: “Young people are often tarred with the same brush, with people thinking that they don’t want to work hard and are lazy. But previous learners that have undergone work placements through ACT have proved to really flourish and the employers have been extremely impressed – with some being offered full time positions.
“Gaining knowledge and experience in a workplace is vital to developing young people’s skills, and also employers get to work with us and have a direct input into local skills delivery, which in the long run enables them to play their part in alleviating youth unemployment.”
ACT in Caerphilly recently held an open day for employers. JR Industries, a factory which manufactures roller shutters for commercial vehicles and which is also based on the Pontygwindy Industrial Estate, is currently providing work placements for three ACT learners.
Julia Lovegrove, JR Industries’ HR Manager, said: “We’ve been really impressed with the people we have worked with from ACT.
“When they come to us they’re very young and we appreciate that this might be their first full time job after leaving school which can be intimidating. We ensure that they are given a suitable role and the support they need to carry out their work and feel part of the team. In turn, we are rewarded with respect and hard work.
“Working with ACT has been a positive experience for us and we hope to continue this relationship in the future.”
ACT in Caerphilly offers a vast amount of vocational qualifications in fields such as construction, IT, administration, customer service and retail.
To speak to someone about work placements, contact centre manager Steve Chapman on 029 2086 7853.
Visit www.acttraining.org.uk for more information about ACT.