Demands by tenants for a “first time fix” rather than multiple visits by different tradesmen to complete a task prompted Neath-based housing association Tai Tarian to work with NPTC Group of Colleges to develop a new apprenticeship framework.
The Maintenance Multi-Trade Apprenticeship is designed to meet the needs of the maintenance industry. Tai Tarian has found that the apprenticeship has increased productivity, reduced costs and encouraged employees to work smarter.
First time fixes have enabled the housing association to take on and complete more jobs with a higher tenant satisfaction rate, as the number of compliments has risen while complaints have fallen.
Now Tai Tarian has 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.
Tai Tarian, a VQ Employer of the Year finalist, has found that having a motivated group of apprentices who communicate, participate and contribute more effectively has resulted in lower staff turnover and sickness days.
“Other benefits of having a highly trained workforce include being able to address critical skills gaps and prepare the workforce for future skill requirements, including succession planning,” said Jaime Greig, Tai Tarian’s senior operations officer.
The housing association supports staff through from Traineeships to Apprenticeships and Higher Education courses. In the past 18 months, five multi-skilled apprentices and an electrician have progressed to full time posts after completing their qualifications.
NPTC Group is also delivering vocational qualifications to 12 Tai Tarian employees, who did not previously possess qualifications, thanks to the Skills for Industry 2 programme. This programme is supported by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government and is designed to enhance skills and increase productivity in the workforce in South West Wales.
Tai Tarian works also closely with award-winning Cyfle Building Skills, a shared apprenticeship programme and other large partnering organisations and companies.
Esther Harris, Tai Tarian’s operations manager, said the association believed in “growing its own” staff and would continue to liaise closely with NPTC Group of College to ensure continuity, best practise and well-motivated apprentices.
The VQ Employer of the Year Award focuses on employers who promote the value of vocational qualifications in the workplace and make a real contribution to improving the skills and national competitiveness.
In addition to the award ceremony, learning providers across Wales are being encouraged to organise regional events that engage with learners of all ages on VQ Day.
Vocational qualifications are important to the economy, companies and individuals, as they deliver the trained, talented employees that businesses are crying out for and ensure young people have the skills needed to succeed in education and work.
Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan said: “A VQ award is a symbol of dedication towards a chosen profession, demonstrating to others a real commitment towards personal and professional development.
“The awards help us to celebrate those Welsh employers, learners and trainers who are already going that extra mile when it comes to developing vocational skills and qualifications.”
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Jaime Greig, Tai Tarian’s senior operations officer, with maintenance staff.