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New ground-breaking pilot apprenticeship programme for 14 – 16-year-olds

Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, UK

Creating opportunities for young people within our community is a key ambition across Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.

Working in partnership with EE we have together developed a unique employability pilot scheme called ‘Seren Dyfodol’ working with schools in the County Borough. The scheme sits within the County Borough’s Pathway to Work Programme for young people who have experienced care.

This innovative scheme will support and mentor young people with homework, work experience and sport activities of their choice across 2 years. The scheme’s ambition is to support our young people in developing confidence in their abilities and ensuring that they have a range of experiences to promote their ambition for the future.

This new programme is one of the many ways in which the Council is striving to strengthen its RARS Education Strategy, ensuring no young person is left behind, and everyone has a fair opportunity in succeeding in both their academic work and developing key skills in the process by offering a range of opportunities.

The Council have an ‘economic vision’ which is to develop and build a thriving economic hub. This is one example of how the Council are working with stakeholders in the private sector to strengthen and achieve the vision for Merthyr Tydfil.

Deb Newton Ryan, Employability manager said: “This ground-breaking scheme developed in partnership by EE and MTCBC will allow young people to experience high quality support, but also gain access to work experiences in the Customer Services industry in Merthyr Tydfil. The partnership working between public and private sector has been impeccable and it will be such an incredible outcome for those involved.”

Jared Green, Aspire SAP coordinator, saidI am so proud to be a part of the Seren Dyfodol project and overwhelmed by the hard work carried out by everyone involved to get this amazing project underway. Apprenticeships are a key priority for the Welsh Government, so if we can continue developing links like this with our private sector businesses in the future and use this pilot project with EE as a blueprint, then it will be an amazing journey for the children and all that get to take part.”

Lita, a Cyfarthfa pupil on the Seren Dyfodol Scheme, said: “EE is going really well so far I am enjoying it especially being the champion winner of ping pong. The people in EE are kind and welcoming which is helpful because I feel comfortable talking around others and not being that shy to speak one thing that could be improved could be more activities which I think would be fun.”