EIGHTEEN paid placements targeted at looked after children, those with disabilities and the long-term unemployed, could be created as part of a new pilot for an apprenticeship academy in Caerphilly county borough.

The county borough council created 25 apprentices last year, but currently lacks a systematic approach to meet the workforce development needs of the future.

To address this, the council’s academy would be made up of apprentices and referrals from schools, careers departments and individuals.

A mixture of work experience, placements and apprenticeships would be offered and especially to looked-after children leaving care, to people with disabilities or to the long term unemployed.

A report on the academy says the aim is “to provide work experience and taster opportunities for school pupils as well as provide support, advice and guidance to schools to help those who do not wish to follow a traditional attainment pathway to access alternative provision via an apprenticeship route.”

While in the academy, individuals could be given life coaching, one-to-one mentoring, upskill training and help in addressing barriers to employment.

The final goal is to support individuals into sustainable employment.


Those involved with the academy would receive full mentor support during the trial, work placement and for 12 weeks after entering contracted employment.

During these 12 weeks, the individuals would receive help for travel costs, upskilling and provision for suitable workwear.

The report says the Caerphilly has the fourth highest rate of unemployment in Wales.

It says: “In addition, Caerphilly Homes and partners are acutely aware that they do not have the skills within their existing workforce or their supply chains to build a new generation of council homes at scale and pace to meet the needs of communities.

“The demand to deliver affordable homes using modern methods of construction that are near zero carbon requires a completely different skill set within the workforce that does not currently exist.”

Most of the delivery of the academy would be funded by the Welsh Government or EU grants.

The Welsh Government’s flexibilities grant has allocated £819,000 to the council.

It is anticipated that the council would use an additional £127,000 from reserves.

Caerphilly’s cabinet will discuss the report in a meeting this Wednesday, February 26.