Two important initiatives have highlighted the Newport-based Office for National Statistics’ commitment to support education and develop skills in Wales.

ONS has held its first graduation ceremony for its data analyst apprentices, the first within the public sector in Wales.

It also has launched a new guide aimed at helping Welsh Baccalaureate students and teachers to better understand statistics and research.

The graduation ceremony held at ONS Headquarters in Newport saw eight data analyst apprentices graduate in a ceremony attended by Eluned Morgan AM, minister for Welsh language and lifelong learning, and UK national statistician John Pullinger.

Each of the graduates have gained permanent positions within the civil service and have already achieved promotions.

John Pullinger said: “Apprenticeships provide a real opportunity to shape how we hire, develop and retain our high performing people. This graduation is a fantastic way to celebrate the success of these pioneering apprenticeships at ONS, and I look forward to many more.”

Meanwhile, the ONS Guide to Social and Economic Research is a new resource produced to support the teaching of Advanced Level Welsh Baccalaureate, specifically the Advanced Independent Research Module.

The guide has been designed to help teachers support students to complete the statistical and research elements contained within this module and has been produced in collaboration with local teachers and examination board, WJEC. The resource contains comprehensive guidance on data collection, data analysis and data presentations.