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New Junior Apprenticeships offered for 14-year-olds

15 December 2017

Teenagers as young as 14 can now gain practical skills for their future careers thanks to Bridgend County Borough’s first ever Junior Apprenticeships programme.

Set up in partnership by Welsh Government, Bridgend County Borough Council, local schools and Bridgend College, the programme is offering vocational courses in Hair and Beauty, Public Services, and Construction and Landscaping.

Forty eight teenagers are enrolled on the courses this term, which they are studying five days a week at Bridgend College while also working towards GCSEs in English, Mathematics and Numeracy.

Councillor Charles Smith, Bridgend County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration said: “This is a great opportunity for year 10 and 11 pupils to gain hands-on experience and get a head start at following the career path they want.

“Junior Apprenticeships have been introduced successfully in other parts of Wales, opening doors to a wide range of careers. Our programme is offering these three courses initially, but may expand in years to come.

“Traditional school subjects aren’t for everyone, so the Junior Apprenticeships are an innovative way of enabling youngsters to focus on what they really enjoy and see a future in.”

Council Leader Huw David added: “Bridgend College is one of the best in Wales, achieving a double ‘Excellent’ in its recent Estyn inspection. With their extensive links to local employers, the college is able to offer students experiences that will make them employable and ready to progress to the next step in their lives by the time they complete their Junior Apprenticeship.

“That next step might be another suitable vocational course within the college, or directly onto an apprenticeship. Whatever route they take next, Bridgend College will be on hand to support them.

“It’s also important to point out that Junior Apprentices will remain on the school roll, so if things don’t work out then alternative options will be discussed.”

Gemma Carr-Evans, from Bridgend College, said: “Our first intake of Junior Apprentices have come from all corners of the county borough, and are thoroughly enjoying the chance to get an early practical insight into their potential future careers.

“They are all motivated and willing to work hard, so we’re looking forward to seeing how they progress over the next two years.”

Any parents and pupils who would like to find out more about this exciting new learning pathway should initially speak to their schools.

Further details are also available from Gemma Carr-Evans by emailing gcevans@bridgend.ac.uk or John Fabes by emailing john.fabes@bridgend.gov.uk or calling 01656 642663.

Last Updated: 19/12/2017
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