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National Apprenticeship Week celebrates apprenticeships and traineeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

A number of Welsh gymnastics clubs have signed up to the apprenticeship programme and those involved have reported the positive benefits the programme has brought to both the club and apprentice. 

Welsh Gymnastics has compiled a apprenticeship Q&A , which will hopefully give other clubs a helpful insight into how apprenticeships are impacting our sport.

Q – What is an apprenticeship and why should my club be interested in apprenticeships?

A - Apprenticeships provide industry standard training and development, can assist clubs with skills shortages and promote succession planning. Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete and the programme content can be customised to meet each clubs needs, for example there are courses such as team leading, management and customer service.

Q - How do clubs find a suitable apprentice?

A - Clubs tend to advertise in local press and via social media, offering the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification while learning in a work environment.  

Potential candidates must be unemployed at the time of application and not in full time study.   

Q - What have clubs said so far about their experiences of the programme?

A - Clubs say its easy to get involved! Training providers do much of the work on behalf of the club – determining which apprenticeship programme is most suitable as well as visiting the apprentice on a monthly basis to provide mentoring support for the duration of the programme.

Q - What have apprentices said so far about their experiences of the programme?

A - Apprentices have said they feel more confident and have better leadership skills. They enjoy the flexibility of the programme which enables them to submit assignments around coaching/club events. They also like the online learning and the support they receive from a mentor and said there was a good balance between work, assignments and coaching which was not overwhelming. Apprentices would recommend the programme to others. 

Q - How do clubs get involved in the programme?

A – First of all clubs need to think about the following:

  1. Is there a business case for the role?
  2. Does this role have a long term opportunity in your business?
  3. Can you sustain paying them for 12 months (apprentice wage : National minimum wage)
  4. Is it a specialist role you club needs?

Once you have considered these  questions you will need to create a role description for the apprenticeship post (this can be done in conjunction with your community development officer). You will then be ready to take it to the next stage and need to contact the WSA on or 029 2033 4972.