Age is no barrier for Itec’s VQ Finalist Kieran

VQ Finalist

Kieran Hunt is a young man on a mission, having defied his years by becoming Itec’s youngest person to compete his Management Level 4 qualification.

At just 19, he’s focusing on his future and has the desire to continue on to his Level 5 ILM Management qualification after having completed both his Business Admin Level 3 and his ILM Management Level 4, in just over a year combined. Not only this but he took on a two-person workload due to a colleague falling ill, seeing it as an opportunity to develop.

“Many doubted his ability in being able to complete the qualification due to his age, however, this didn’t deter Kieran, it only pushed him further. ” said Heidi Gunter, Itec’s NVQ Assessor.

Having recently started a position at Hughes Forrest, in Blackwood, doing kitchen and bathroom Design and Sales, Kieran’s focusing on training and the opportunities available to him. But in his previous role at AJ tensile, in Caldicot, he impressed with his willingness to go that extra mile.

“The qualification has not only helped me improve my skills and understand, but it’s also proved that age shouldn’t be a barrier to completing a higher level qualification,” said Kieran.

Due to his success, Kieran’s been named a Finalist in this year’s Vocational Qualification (VQ) awards in Wales, which are designed to reward individuals and organisations for their commitment, hard work and achievements.

The awards ceremony will be held at The Exchange Hotel, Cardiff on May 3 to coincide with VQ Day. The awards are organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), ColegauCymru / CollegesWales and Qualifications Wales. Find out more here:

We’re all wishing him the best of luck not only in the awards but in his future!

Itec Celebrates Living Wage Commitment


We’re pleased to announce that Itec has been accredited as a Living Wage Employer.

The Living Wage commitment means everyone working at Itec, regardless of whether they are direct employees or third-party contracted staff: receive a minimum hourly wage of £8.75 in the UK or £10.20 in London. Both rates are significantly higher than the Statutory minimum for over 25’s of £7.50 per hour introduced in April 2017.

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to real costs of living. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage enjoys cross-party political support.

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Itec Urges Businesses to Sign Up to Jobs Growth Wales before deadline


The largest provider of Jobs Growth Wales is urging Welsh businesses to sign up and take advantage of this year’s remaining allocation before the 31st March deadline.

Itec Skills and Employment has 400 opportunities across south, mid and west Wales, which involves Welsh Government funding 50% of a 16-24 year old’s salary for 26 weeks.

Jobs Growth Wales is a jobs creation programme that was set up in 2012 to allow employers to offer opportunities to young people and create new roles within their organisation. Staff are paid a wage and benefit from gaining vital work experience and developing on-the-job skills while also supporting Welsh businesses to grow.

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Traineeship Opportunities with Cardiff Airport

Cardiff Airport Opportunities

Finding it hard to secure a job and feel you need more guidance and experience? 

Have you thought of doing a Traineeship? To be eligible you must be aged 18 on the day of enrolling, not be in full-time education or employment and not hold a qualification above Level 1 (GCSE D-G).

The Traineeship programme lasts for 16 weeks, Monday through to Friday (30 hours per week), helping your CV to get noticed.  You will work towards the City and Guilds Level 1 Certificate in Exploring the Aviation Industry and look at:

  • The aviation industry
  • Aviation terminology
  • Airport locational geography
  • Customer service in aviation
  • Team work in the aviation industry

You will also complete the City and Guilds Level 1 Award in Employability Skills, along with Essential Skills Wales qualifications.

We will support you to apply for jobs at Cardiff International Airport in airport ground operations, such as Check-in Desk Agent and Baggage Handler.

You will be required to sign off JSA before enrolling.  You will be paid an allowance of £50 per week.  To find out more contact Ian on 01792 814708 or e-mail


Work in Hospitality with BBC Wales


Do you want to gain valuable skills to help you find work with the hospitality sector? We have an exciting new opportunity working alongside BBC Wales for people over the age of 18 who are receiving a benefit such as Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) or Universal Credit (UC).

This training will help to improve your confidence and increase employability skills. This is also a great way to learn about career opportunities through working in Hospitality.

At the end of the training, developed in the collaboration with the BBC, you will have:

  • New skills to gain employment
  • A greater understanding of the hospitality sector and potential careers
  • Experience of working in hospitality

If you are interested please can our Adult Team on 01443 426716 or speak to your Work Coach in your local Job Centre.

New Apprenticeship Employer Incentive Programme


From 1st August 2017 the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship Employer Incentive Programme is available to support SME’s to recruit apprentices aged 16-19.  This will help provide individuals and employers with the skills needed and help to prevent skills shortages.

To access the programme you must  be an SME who is new to apprenticeships or have not recruited an apprentice in the last 30 months

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New Delivery Partners On Board

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We’re delighted to announce that from 1st August 2017, Sgiliau and Newport County Council will be coming on board as two new delivery partners.Sgiliau will be delivering Traineeships at both Engagement and Level 1, focusing on working in the following outreach areas:

  • Brynmawr
  • Ebbw Vale
  • Tredegar
  • Abertillery
  • Llanhilleth
  • Risca
  • Caerphilly North and Basin
  • Abergavenny
  • Blaenavon
  • Glyncoch
  • Ynysybwl
  • Hirwaun
  • Treorchy

Newport County Council will also be delivering the Engagement strand of the Traineeship programme from a number of outreach locations across the Newport area.  We are thrilled to welcome on board such experienced partners and look forward to working with them in the near future.

If you’re interested in discussing partnership opportunities then please contact us on 02920 663800.


Traineeship Triumph

traineeship triumoh

Ben Jones started on the Traineeship programme at Itec Bridgend at the end of 2016, his aim was to improve his confidence and skills for employment. Ben already had a taste of the working world as a labourer working with his dad and uncle in their building firm. He didn’t enjoy school but he knew that he needed some help with his English and Maths skills. After coming for a meet and greet in Bridgend he decided to start with Itec on a Level 1 qualification in retail.

During his time with Itec Ben only had 2 days absence in 15 weeks and this was due to not being able to get into centre. While in centre Ben made many new friends and got on well with all of the staff, he was always very well-mannered and polite.

Ben asked if he could be put onto a retail placement and was initially placed with Spar. Whilst working there he got a taste of working within his chosen field. Ben then started to apply for jobs and Apprenticeships, one being in Billabong in the designer outlet (Bridgend). He really wanted to get the Apprenticeship, so asked if we could put him in placement so that he could “show them what he was made off”. This was arranged and after only 4 shifts he was offered an Apprenticeship. Having now started his new job, Ben’s fitting in well and enjoying working in a company he’s passionate about.

Ben said “If it was not for Itec I would not have this job or the confidence to look for a job, I have had lots of support whenever I needed it. It was better than school because the staff treat you like a human and they want you to do well”.  Well done Ben and congratulations on your Apprenticeship!


How to succeed at an interview


The thought of an interview makes us all uneasy, but there’s no need for you to work yourself up, just remember these pointers we’ve put together and you’ll ace the interview.

  1. Always research the company; this gives you background knowledge as to why you’d like to work for them. Think of what you can bring to the team, it’s key to show interest in the company you may possibly be working for.
  2. Let your personality shine through, be enthusiastic as it’s an excellent attribute to bring to a team.
  3. Always get to the interview with time to spare, this way you won’t need to worry and lose concentration on the interview preparation
  4. Present yourself well, dress appropriately for the role. If you’re not sure you can always email beforehand to check. Wear your best shoes, it’ll give a very good first impression
  5. One thing to always remember is that the person interviewing you is also human, just like you so try to relax.
  6. Practice a firm hand shake for before and after your interview.
  7. Prepare for the biggest weakness question. When an employer asks this it’s not to catch you out, it’s a question to see how you’ve overcome a challenge or weakness.
  8. You can always ask for feedback if you don’t get the job. This way you know what to work on for your next interview.
  9. One thing you need to remember is “what’s the worst that can happen”, put into perspective the interview is experience, and it’s your chance to show who you are and why you’d like to work there. Worst case scenario you won’t be suitable for the role.
  10. Don’t talk negatively about previous employers you’ve worked with, this will put doubt in an interviewers mind about your attitude towards the company and team. Always talk about the positive elements of the previous roles, for example the experience and skills you’ve gained.

Good Luck!

Apprenticeship Week – Calling all employers!


We’re going to be talking about the business benefits of Apprenticeships for employers in the local community next week!  You’ll be able to speak to us at the following events:

Friday 3rd March
ZOKIT Business Networking Event Sovereign Connect, Llantrisant, CF72 8YX |12-2pm

Monday 6th March
Apprenticeship Employer Forum NPTC Group of Colleges, Neath, SA10 7RF | 8-10am

Tuesday 7th March
Remploy Clarence House, Newport, NP19 7AA | 10.30am

Wednesday 8th March
RCT Apprenticeship Open Day The Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd, CF37 2DP | 2-4pm

Thursday 9th March
ZOKIT Business Networking Event The Old Barn Inn, Newport, NP18 2EB | 12.30-2.30pm

Friday 10th March
Career Wales Apprenticeship Event Cardiff City Stadium, Leckwith Road, CF11 8AZ | 10am-2pm

Information, Assistance & Advice Pontypool Active Living Centre, Pontypool, NP4 8AT | 10am-4pm

Can’t make an event? Please call us directly on 029 2071 3689 and we’ll answer any of your Apprenticeship questions.