To consider the report of the Corporate
Director Regeneration and Community Services.
Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Director Regeneration and Community Services.
The Corporate Director Regeneration and Community Services advised that the purpose of the report was to gain endorsement for the submission of a proposal to Cardiff Capital Region to roll out the Aspire Shared Apprenticeship Programme and become the host Authority. Also, to sought endorsement for the submission of a proposal to Welsh Government to merge the Aspire Blaenau Gwent and Aspire Merthyr Tydfil programmes from September 2021 which would retain funding for both local authorities to work with the education to facilitate apprenticeships.
The Corporate Director provided a background to the work of the Aspire Shared Apprentice Programme and advised that in 2019 it won the ‘Large Employer of the Year’ award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2019. The award category entitled ‘Large and Macro Employer of the Year’ recognised and celebrated the employer’s commitment to developing their workforce through apprenticeships, whilst supporting employees during training
The Corporate Director felt that the programme would open up opportunities in our Community and throughout the Heads of the Valleys. The model also had the capabilities to operate across the city region with additional recruitment. He felt that it was positive that Blaenau Gwent was taking the lead on the programme and that CCRD asked to take this forward based on Blaenau Gwent’s model
The Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic noted his admiration for the programme and he was proud to work alongside with the Aspire Team.
The Skills Agenda was massive for Blaenau Gwent and Wales and the work of this small team was immense and showed the influence of that programme in the recognition through Welsh Government and CCRD to extend the programme. The Programme was exemplar and something to be used as best practice. The Executive Member advised that he had been present at the Awards Evening and it was fantastic to see the other employers that the Authority had been up against. This work provided a great opportunity with Merthyr Tydfil which would lead us into CCRD and provide that expansion to work through the regions with authorities who wished to join. It was felt that this was a real opportunity to move the programme across the 10 authorities providing real apprenticeships, working with real manufacturers which provided excellent opportunities and employment rates.
The Leader added that the opportunity acknowledged the recognition and respect for the Council in terms of what had been achieved in the last 3-4 years. The hard work and commitment had created something that would be a template used across South East Wales for many years. The Programme would continue to benefit the young people in our communities and the Leader wished to congratulate the Executive Member, Corporate Director and the Team on their hard work.
RESOLVED that the report be accepted and Option 1 namely; the submission of two proposals, one to City Deal and the other to Welsh Government by the end of summer 2020 be endorsed. The approval provided a strategic context and clear focus to support a partnership and collaborative approach to implementing specific actions and associated Employment and Skills delivery.