The latest in Skills & Talent across Southeast Wales

Last week saw skills and talent in our region recognised by the 2022 Oscar nominations … celebrated at the Young Innovators Awards …  catered for in a pioneering new Hospitality Management Academy … feature in South Wales’ first all-female accelerator – and form part of the debate over Manufacturing Apprenticeship funding …. 


USW talent takes centre stage at the Oscars

The week began with no fewer than 15 University of South Wales alumni being globally recognised for their work on Oscar-nominated films, including Affairs of the Heart – a Welsh animated short film made by Joanna Quinn (an Animation graduate of USW) and Les Mills (former course leader at USW), which is shortlisted in the Best Animated Short Film category at the 2022 Academy Awards.

The 11 graduates of USW’s Film & TV School Wales who worked on Affairs of the Art have been joined in this year’s nominations by Rosie Walker and Ben Brown, who both studied Visual Effects & Motion Graphics at USW and were part of the team working on sci-fi adventure movie Dune (which is listed in 10 award categories) – while fellow USW graduates Amy Carpenter and Jakub Kupcik have been nominated for their Best Special Effects work on Spider-Man: No Way Home.

It’s yet another testimony to the work of Tom Ware and his team at USW, which every year nurtures the industry-leading creative skills that consistently make their mark on the world stage.


Young Innovators of Wales win major awards 

The Yonder poll of more than 4,000 British adults revealed that a record number of the country’s young people are looking to start their own business, just as news broke that four young Welsh Entrepreneurs have been announced as winners in this year’s Young Innovator Awards – the Innovate UK programme for 18 to 30 year olds that’s co-funded by Cardiff Capital Region and fully supported by Venture.

Christian Berger, Beren Kayali, Abbie Lawrence and Matthew Richmond have each won the coveted Young Innovator Award for their ingenious new business projects – with these Welsh winners joining 59 other young people who are looking to change the world through their groundbreaking innovations.

Now in its third year, the Young Innovators’ Programme continues to support high-potential young people from a wide range of backgrounds. This year, half of the winners are women and around a third are from an ethnic minority group, while 17% have identified as disabled. There are multiple award winners in every region of the UK – including the fab four innovators from Wales (three of whom are based in the Cardiff Capital Region).


Compass Cymru partners with Bridgend College on new hospitality management academy

Compass Cymru, part of Compass Group UK & Ireland – the UK’s largest food and support services firm – has announced a pioneering partnership with Bridgend College: offering a new Management Academy that will deliver hospitality apprenticeship and career development opportunities across Wales.

Bridgend College, an award-winning provider of further education and training, is the highest ranked UK FE College in the Times 100 Best not for profit companies – and will work with Compass Cymru to provide tailored leadership opportunities at all levels of the organisation, through both management apprenticeships and non-apprenticeship management training.

The management academy apprenticeships are designed to develop practical skills and experience for new and existing managers in Levels 2-7 – covering a Level 2 CMI Foundation Apprenticeship in Team Leading, through to a Level 4 CMI Diploma in Management & Leadership VRQ and a Level 7 CMI Award or Certificate in Strategic Management & Leadership.

The non-apprenticeship management programme also includes Levels 2-7 in qualifications around team leading, management and leadership, and strategic management and leadership.


All Female Start-up Accelerator launches in South Wales

 An all female start-up accelerator and investment movement, We Are Radikl, is launching a free, fully-funded three-month accelerator programme designed specifically for women in business.

We Are Radikl is offering 80 free places to businesswomen in Bridgend and Caerphilly through their Rise programme – which provides practical learning and live online workshops delivered by inspirational teachers on all aspects of business.

Designed to take start-up business to the next level, the project is funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund, with We Are Radikl on a mission to level up a region where 28% of women run their own businesses, compared to 31% in the rest of the UK.


Manufacturing Apprenticeship Levy under the spotlight

Manufacturers last week called on the UK Government to consider a uniquely targeted sector approach to Apprenticeship funding – with Make UK proposing a special dispensation that would allow manufacturing companies to spend their left-over levy funds to pay the wages of new apprentices. It’s estimated that nearly £2 billion currently goes to waste once a levy period has expired: valuable funds that could be put to use to bring new apprentices into the sector.

The manufacturing sector already delivers wages higher than the rest of the economy, through 2.7 million jobs across the UK. This sits alongside a £191 billion contribution to national output – with 47% of manufacturers recruiting an engineering or manufacturing apprentice last year, despite the pandemic. There remains much untapped potential – with 45% of manufacturers saying they plan to take on apprentices this year.

Make UK reports that despite last year’s pandemic, 47% of manufacturers still managed to recruit an engineering or manufacturing apprentice, but only 45% say they plan to do so in this coming year. There remains untapped potential, but currently an average four year engineering apprenticeship can cost a business up to £120,000 to deliver, with £27,000 of that cost claimable from levy funds, meaning that some companies struggle to pay an apprentice – leaving their levy contribution unspent.


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