Economy Minister Ken Skates was in Ruthin to visit civil engineering company Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK meet some of their engineering apprentices.
The visit is part of Apprenticeship Week 2019 - a week long celebration of the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals and businesses.
The Welsh Government supports a wide range of individuals, businesses and sectors through its Apprenticeship Scheme and is committed to creating 100,000 apprenticeship opportunities over the life of the current Assembly term.
Speaking after the visit, Economy Minister Ken Skates said:
“It was a pleasure to visit Jones Bros, a family founded and run civil engineering company that employs around 350 people here in Ruthin, and is behind some of our flagship North Wales infrastructure schemes including the Llangefni Link Road.
In the last five years, Jones Bros has recruited and trained an average of 34 apprentices per year, with each employed by the company from day one and benefiting from the high-quality training provided at its dedicated training facility.
Securing and retaining a skilled workforce will be crucial for future economic success beyond Brexit. The quality of people in a business has been proved time and again by research to be the difference between success and failure, so raising workforce skills is an investment in the future.
Apprenticeships can provide the perfect avenue into work and allow companies to find, nurture and develop staff. They also help ensure our economy is supported by a workforce that is equipped to tackle the challenges of today and ready for the opportunities of tomorrow – and as we work to prepare for a life outside of the EU this is more important than ever.
The Welsh Government is determined to see Wales lead the way. Two years into our ambitious commitment to deliver 100,000 apprenticeships here in Wales by 2021, we are already seeing apprenticeships across all sectors make a significant contribution to our economy. And it’s an economy and a workforce that’s growing.
The last few months have seen record levels of employment in Wales, with economic inactivity at a record low. This is testament to our ongoing work to drive prosperity and increase resilience within our economy, with apprenticeships an important part of this mix.”
Richard Owen, training manager at Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, said:
“Jones Bros is an industry leader for apprenticeships, and the feedback we have from those taking part is incredible.
Our apprenticeship programmes not only train the learners how to carry out their work, but they give them life skills and a very solid foundation for their career progression.
The vast majority of our apprentices have stayed with the company after completing their apprenticeship, with some now enrolled on our higher apprenticeship course as part of their career development.
We were pleased to have the chance to showcase how our apprentices have, and will continue to, impact the Welsh economy by working and developing new skills on significant projects in the region such as the Caernarfon and Bontnewydd Bypass.”