Alun Davies, Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language
We are pleased to announce the expansion of the Junior Apprentice Programme. We are supporting this programme by means of an additional £800,000 to be used across all local authority areas. The funding will enable closer collaboration between colleges and schools across Wales.
The Junior Apprenticeship programme is aimed at 14-16 year olds and enables them to undertake a level 1 or 2 vocational pathway at a local college, developing practical skills while gaining qualifications.
The programme is currently only being run at Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC). However, this new investment will enable all areas of Wales to trial this innovative approach to engaging learners in vocational pathways at an earlier stage, opening up wider opportunities for them to develop real, practical skills that employers will value.
The pathways currently offered by CAVC include Automotive, Construction, Catering and Hospitality, Hairdressing and Creative/Digital media. Alongside vocational qualifications, the learner is also expected to complete a GSCE in Maths and English. These pathways, and others, can now be options for young people across Wales.
The transition point at 16 is so critical for young people. We will now have in place another building block to help us realise our aim to creating a truly integrated vocational pathways that starts at 14 and can continue throughout an individual’s career.