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Welcome to my first blog of 2022! I am excited about the year ahead and the exciting things to come. One of my ambitions for the year ahead is that am hoping to speak at more events. In 2021 I spoke at several online events. I am hoping to do the same this year as well as attending in-person events if COVID-19 restrictions allow. This year I am excited to continue to promote the project and to speak to more young people about the different routes into employment. I am also looking forward to continuing to work with Engage to Change’s project partners in a collaborative way.

As the Engage to Change Project will be coming to an end this year, one of my ambitions is to leave a legacy that shows the importance of job coaching to support people with autism and learning disabilities into employment.

 This month I have continued to host my monthly fun hours on ZOOM.  I have also been holding sessions for some of the interns on Engage to Change via teams.

 On the 19th of December, I attended a meeting with the Welsh Government’s Minister for the Economy Vaughn Gething and Senior Civil Servants to discuss Engage to Change’s proposal for National Job Coach support. I attended the meeting alongside partners from Engage to Change.  At the meeting I had the opportunity to present and share my own experiences of Engage to Change. It was great to share how much my life had been impacted by the project.

Spotlight on the National Training Federation Wales

This week is National Apprenticeship Week 2022. For this months spotlight I spoke to Humie Webbe from the National Training Federation Wales. Humie Webbe is employed as NTfW’s Work-based Learning Equality and Diversity Lead. She works with the training providers and the Welsh Government to increase access to apprenticeships for disabled people and individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds and deliver the Work-based Learning Equality and Diversity programme. Read my spotlight below to find out more about the work the Humie and the NTfW do. 

Who are the National Training Federation Wales?

The NTfW is a membership body of over 100 organisations that deliver learning in the workplace. We support Training Providers to provide work-based training for young people and adults who want to develop employment skills to get jobs. NTfW gives a voice to training providers to speak with the Welsh Government on what is needed to increase the numbers of disabled people and other underrepresented groups into apprenticeships.

What are Work-based Training Providers and what do they offer?  

Work-based Training Providers can be independent businesses or in colleges or local authorities. They offer traineeships for young people aged 16 to 19; Jobs Growth Wales + (JGW) is for unemployed young people aged 16 to 24 with paid work experience for six months. Apprenticeships are available for anyone over the age of 16 years. They are a great way to gain qualifications while working and earning a wage.

What does the NTfW’s Apprenticeship Team do? 

The NTfW’s Apprenticeship Team handles all apprenticeship enquiries from employers through the Welsh Government’s Business Wales Skills Gateway. They provide support and guidance to employers looking to employ an apprentice, including how to access the Employment Incentive Scheme, which encourages employers to take on a disabled apprentice.

How do the NTfW increase access to Apprenticeships?  

The NTfW works with organisations such as Learning Disability Wales and Elite Employment Supported Agency to understand how to remove the barriers for disabled people and inform them how to access work-based learning programmes.   

From talking to disabled people and organisations such as Remploy, Elite and Learning Disability Wales, we learned that some aspects of apprenticeships were difficult for disabled people. NTfW is supporting the Welsh Government to change the way disabled people can study for their apprenticeship, including working with the Welsh Government to trial Job Coaches to support disabled learners in the workplace.

Identifying and sharing good practices in recruiting disabled apprentices is an integral part of NTfW’s Work-based Learning Equality and Diversity Programme. We partner with organisations and groups to deliver awareness-raising workshops and other events to help us better support disabled people who want to become apprentices.    

How can you find out more? 

Our website is aimed at anyone interested in the education and training agenda in Wales.