Transformative employment experience praised by apprentice

THE career aspirations of a Ferndale apprentice have soared thanks to his involvement on a multi-million-pound scheme with a leading Welsh construction firm.

Callum Jones has come into his own whilst working on Wynne Construction’s £13million school site for Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council.

For National Apprenticeship Week, he has shared how the experience has developed his future ambitions.

The Bodelwyddan-based firm is building the new Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llyn-Y-Forwyn, where Callum has been with the team since the start of the works and is scheduled to stay until summer 2024, when both the project and his studies complete.

The 19-year-old’s role also marks the first partnership between Wynne and Y Prentis, a Welsh-based shared apprenticeship scheme which allows young people to gain construction skills whilst becoming qualified in their chosen trade.

Callum is currently studying towards his NVQ level 3 in groundworks, spending one day a week at The Construction Hub Academy in Barry and four days on the site, which is located just a five-minute drive from his home in the town.

Callum, who is a former pupil of the Welsh-medium primary school, said: “It’s great that I’ll be with the Wynne team for the duration of my qualification. I’ve worked on small jobs before, such as building driveways, but being on a scheme of this scale has taught me more than I ever could have imagined.

“Before starting, my interests were only geared towards the groundworks phase, but I’ve developed an interest in other responsibilities, including the health and safety aspects of the role.

“Less than a year ago, I was employed as a kitchen porter in a hotel, so it’s amazing to think how much my goals have changed since then and how I’m now creating a career for myself.

“The experience has opened my eyes to an exciting future in the industry, as I’m hoping to train towards becoming a site manager, which I wouldn’t have considered before starting with Wynne.”

With the groundworks completed, Callum will now be involved with the next stages of the project, including preparing the building for the internal first fix ahead of activity such as the installation of light fightings, sockets, and switches.

He added: “I’ve been responsible for digging trenches and installing the inside drainage, as well as making sure everything meets the right standards.

“The Wynne team are always happy to help me advance my learning, whether it’s by giving me books, or training me beyond my NVQ such as helping me get my dumper and telehandler tickets so I can operate machinery.”

Site manager Dylan Richards, who supports apprentices and work placement students, said: “When Callum joined, he was a timid teenager, but since settling in, we have seen him transformed into a confident young man.

“He’s incredibly popular in the team, passionate to get involved every day, and always eager to learn more. He is a pleasure to have onboard so it’s never an issue to teach him whatever he wants to know.”

Wynne Construction social value manager Alison Hourihane said: “Offering a range of opportunities to local young people entering the industry is key to strengthening our presence in the community as we deliver schemes.

“The Wynne Futures Foundation has provided work to 86 apprentices in the past year, and partnering with organisations like Y Prentis is critical to making these connections and helping individuals from all backgrounds gain experience.

“Callum’s opportunity to be involved with a project from start to finish will have a huge impact on his development in the sector, and I hope his story inspires those who are interested in pursuing a career in the industry.”

Wynne Construction operates throughout Wales and the north west of England, and regularly leads on projects in sectors including education, social housing, healthcare, and sport and leisure.

The company is also on the North Wales Construction Partnership (NWCP), Pagabo’s Medium Works Framework, the South-East and mid-Wales Collaborative Construction Framework (SEWSCAP3) and the South West Wales Regional Contractors Framework (SSWRCF).

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