Next Step Project
And The Winner Is...
Thornton Boswell, of Felinfoel, Llanelli, has only just picked up his GCSE results from Bryngwyn School, but this week he started work for the company having won an apprenticeship placement as part of the Next Programme.
Thornton was one of six candidates who have taken part in the competition throughout the summer in a bid to win a fast-track to their chosen career. And whilst competing against each other for the coveted job, they worked together as a team to complete a project that would benefit the community and leave a lasting legacy.
The winner was announced at a ceremony held on Friday, 31st August, 2012 at Parc Y Scarlets. Thornton said he was ‘over the moon’ to have won the competition, and started his first day of his carpentry apprenticeship on Monday 3rd September, 2012. “I really didn’t expect to win – I’m really happy,” he said. “Chances like this don’t come around often for young boys like me.”
LEAVING A LEGACY…
FOR the first time in its three-year history, the Next Steps project has left a lasting legacy in the community.
Despite being in competition with each other, all six candidates pulled together to create a spectacular new sensory garden for children with special needs at Llanelli’s Ysgol Heol Goffa. Over the summer, they have worked for free alongside Lloyd & Gravell staff to completely overhaul the garden area at the school, creating a Safari-themed adventure playground with different textures and themes designed to stimulate the childrens’ senses.
Headteacher Nikki Symmons said: “I had no idea when Lloyd & Gravell first approached me the extent of the project they were proposing. It has completely exceeded all our expectations, and we are all so very grateful for everything they have done. “They have worked so hard, in all kinds of weather, to get the work done on time, and I know that this will be enjoyed by our pupils for many years. “They should be so proud of what they have achieved, and I hope that they know how grateful we all are here at Ysgol Heol Goffa.” The sensory garden will make its first public appearance at the school’s family fun day on Saturday, September 8.
KEVIN Gravell said that “this year’s competition demonstrated that a wealth of potential talent for the construction industry exists within our local community. The youth of today receive a lot of negative press. However, these individuals have proved beyond a doubt that, given the opportunity, young people can make a very positive impact in our communities. They are a credit to their families, their generation and more importantly themselves. They have all shown tremendous commitment, enthusiasm, determination and willingness to learn”. He added “the tasks have tested their character, abilities and enthusiasm and they should all be very proud of their achievements. It has been a pleasure to have them work and train alongside our team.”
Thanks was given to the company craftsmen who had mentored the candidates. The experience once more gave them the opportunity to pass on their expertise and experience to the trainees, which they have found both enjoyable and rewarding. The sensory garden project was one which Lloyd & Gravell staff came up with themselves, having been asked to come up with ideas for a community project.
Lloyd & Gravell try and give back as much as we can to our communities. The Heol Goffa project was dear to our hearts as a company and to the workforce. We have previously undertaken works at the school and the families of a number of our staff have connections with the school. We were thrilled to be able to give the boys such a worthwhile project to do as part of the competition.
NEXT Steps is an annual competition run in partnership by Carmarthenshire County Council, Coleg Sir Gâr and Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association Ltd in association with Lloyd & Gravell Ltd.
It is one of several innovative projects which are designed to encourage people to work towards careers in the construction industry, regardless of their age, gender, or background.
Following a round of interviews and a week of intensive skills training, six candidates are put to work on real building sites where they learn new skills off experienced mentors.
A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTERS
The project was also generously supported by our local supply chain partners:
Ø Philip Lewis, Lewis Partnership, Architects, Llanelli who designed the Sensory Garden.
Ø Llandeilo Building Supplies, Building Merchants for their continued support in sponsoring kit bags for all six candidates over the last 3 years.
Ø Raymond’s Bodyshop, Pontyberem who provided labour and materials for the project.
Ø Gwendraeth Valley Tarmacadam, Pontyates.
Along the way, the candidates take part in a series of challenges in a bid to win a reward and avoid a forfeit.
This year, Next Steps was supported by Ski Pembrey and Ffos Las Racecourse who put on reward and forfeit experiences.
At Ski Pembrey, the winning team enjoyed free skiing lessons, whilst the others weeded the slopes.
At Ffos Las, the winners enjoyed VIP hospitality whilst the others helped groundsmen replace divots and repair fences after each race.
For further information, news, interviews and videos of the Next Steps 2012 project, visit www.nextstepscarmarthenshire.co.uk or www.facebook.com/nextstepscarmarthenshire
MEET THE FINALISTS
Thornton Boswell, aged 16, from Felinfoel, Llanelli: “I feel very happy that I saw the kids’ reactions – they looked over the moon with the work we’ve done. I’d like to thank all the people I’ve worked with that have helped me over the last six weeks – they’ve put the fun side in as well which has made me keep going. It’s been fun, and hard - but worth it.”
Aled Evans, aged 17, from Llanelli: “I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me – including my mother who helped me get through the interview and getting me up in the morning to actually go! The work is over and all the kids have enjoyed it - it’s a great feeling.”
Aled Jones, aged 16, from Drefach: “Next Steps has been fun, challenging, and a good experience. I’ve changed my attitude towards work – now I can’t wait to do it.”
Shaun Jones, aged 16, from Ponthenri: “Seeing the sensory garden all done is really good – I feel very proud. We’ve struggled in the hot sun and the rain, but I’m glad I took part.
Craig Rees, aged 16, from Stebonheath, Llanelli: “I’m feeling very proud - a lot of hard work has been put in. Learning new skills has been good and I’ve grown up a lot more and learned how to work in a team.”
Steffan Thomas, aged 16, from Llanelli: “I think Next Steps has helped me change. At the start, I didn’t know what to expect, but I’ve matured throughout the competition. I’d like to thank the people who have been there to help us to better our skills, and the people at the interview who gave us this opportunity.”
THE two previous winners of Next Steps are both progressing well with their careers. 2010 winner Iwan Thomas, of Brynamman, is in his final year of training and was recently awarded Coleg Sir Gâr’s Apprentice Carpenter of the Year for 2012. Last year’s winner Jamie Owen, of Trimsaran, has had a successful first year in college and on site.
We’ve Got Some Blooming Great News - Next Step 2012
THE Next Steps project team are delighted to reveal that this year the candidates will be leaving a lasting legacy as part of the competition process.
The six boys, along with their mentors and other members of staff from Lloyd & Gravell Ltd, will be creating a safari themed sensory garden at Llanelli’s Heol Goffa School to benefit children with special needs.
It is the first year that the Next Steps competition has involved a community-based project.
Kevin Gravell said: “As a company we try and give back as much as we can to our communities, and our own staff had already identified the sensory garden at Heol Goffa as a worthwhile project which they wanted to do in their own free time.
“The timing fitted in perfectly with the Next Steps project, and we are thrilled to be able to give the boys such a great project to do as part of the competition.
“To their credit, every one of them has been excited to get involved and they all realise that the work they are carrying out for free throughout the summer holidays will benefit the children of Heol Goffa School greatly.”
The sensory garden will include tactile surfaces and colourful equipment to stimulate the senses of the children at the school.
The Next Steps candidates will be working on-site throughout the summer to get it completed in time for the children to start back in the Autumn term.
Whilst on-site they will be taking part in a series of challenges to test their skills in carpentry, bricklaying and plastering in a bid to win a reward – and avoid a forfeit.
The winner of the competition will be announced at the end of August, and will start their two-year apprenticeship with Lloyd & Gravell in September.
NEXT STEP Winner 2011
AND THE WINNER IS ….
Jamie Owens was crowned winner of Next Steps Programme 2011 at a ceremony in Llanelli’s Parc Y Scarlets on Wednesday, 31st August, 2011.
Jamie of Trimsaran has won a two-year construction apprenticeship following taking part in the innovative Next Step competition to promote the profile of apprenticeships in Carmarthenshire.
Jamie, one of six candidates, scooped up the prize of a paid apprenticeship with the company.
On taking the title, Jamie said: “I still can’t quite believe it – this is a fantastic start towards building a future for myself and I'm really looking forward to starting work with Lloyd & Gravell. The competition was a great experience - everyone on it was awesome and really looked after us. Unfortunately, there were five others who have missed out but we are all winners as we've all had a fantastic start to our construction careers."
Next Steps has run in Carmarthenshire for the second time, as a partnership between Lloyd & Gravell, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Property Services division, Coleg Sir Gar and Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association (CCTAL). View a slideshow of the competition below:
Kevin Gravell during the presentation confirmed that there were no losers and that all candidates were winners. He said they had all performed exceptionally well during the period of the competition and that a wealth of potential talent, for the construction industry, existed within the local community.
There were indeed no losers as all the other candidates that took part this year had been offered placements on Shared Apprenticeship, Pathways to Apprenticeship or traditional apprenticeship schemes in the local area. The candidates were Gareth John and Eric Meighan, both of Ammanford, Nathan Jenkins, of Llanelli, Darren Thomas, of Trimsaran and Robert Goodman of Cynwyl Elfed.
Kevin Gravell stated “This has yet again been a fantastic experience – not only for the candidates, but for our craftsmen who have been able to work with them and pass on their skills. The calibre of candidates this year was exceptional, and it was very hard to choose one from them all, but Jamie will be a great addition to our company, and I’m very proud to welcome him on-board.”
Jamie has chosen to do his apprenticeship studying carpentry. He will work alongside other craftsmen for the next two years and will also attend Coleg Sir Gar.
Last year’s winner, Iwan Thomas, is now entering his second year of his apprenticeship and is progressing well. He has recently been recognised at a national carpentry competition.
In the picture: The six finalists Robert Goodman, Nathan Jenkins, Gareth John, Eric Meighan, Jamie Owens and Darren Thomas. Councillor Meryl Gravell, Leader Councillor Philip Hughes, Executive Board Member for Technical Services, Ray Symes and Emma Sadler, Property Services, Carmarthenshire County Council. Dylan James, Coleg Sir Gar, Anthony Rees, Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association Ltd., Paul Lloyd and Kevin Gravell, Lloyd & Gravell Ltd.
Six Next Steps Candidates Revealed
The six candidates who will battle it out to win a full-time paid construction apprenticeship with a Carmarthenshire building firm have been unveiled. The lucky ones chosen to take part in the Next Steps 2011 competition will have their first chance to show their skills at a construction event being held at Trimsaran’s Ffos Las racecourse.
They are all in the running to win the two-year apprenticeship being offered by Lloyd and Gravell Ltd, supported by Carmarthenshire County Council’s Property Services department, Coleg Sir Gar and Carmarthenshire Construction and Training Association Ltd (CCTAL).
The lucky six are:
- Robert Goodman, aged 16, from Cynnwyl Elfed, Carmarthen
- Jamie Owens, aged 20, from Trimsaran
- Nathan Jenkins, aged 18, from Llanelli
- Darren Thomas, aged 16, from Trimsaran
- Gareth John, aged 24, from Caebryn, Ammanford
- Eric Meighan, aged 31, from Ammanford
They were chosen from 10 selected to take part in a two-week college course which gave them the knowledge and skills necessary to allow them to work on a building site. The chosen six will now be put to work and train with Lloyd & Gravell Ltd., skilled tradesmen working on council houses as part of the Carmarthenshire Homes Standard where they will learn basic skills in trades including bricklaying, carpentry and plastering. They will also take part in challenges to test their ability to learn new skills, with a series of rewards and forfeits as an incentive.
A winner will be announced at a prestigious ceremony at Parc Y Scarlets in August, and they will start their first day ‘on the job’ just days later. Kevin Gravell, director of Lloyd and Gravell, said: “This is literally a life-changing opportunity for these candidates. They have already impressed us with their applications, interviews, and how they have conducted themselves in college over the last two weeks. “Now we are looking forward to see how they will work as individuals, and as part of a team over the next six weeks – this is where the hard work really starts.”
This is the second time the Next Steps competition has been run in Carmarthenshire. It was open to anyone aged over 16 – men and women – who lived in the county
Last year, it was one by 26-year-old Iwan Thomas, of Brynamman, who had had no previous experience of the construction industry.
He has now worked for Lloyd and Gravell for almost a year, and is thoroughly enjoying the experience. “Winning Next Steps has changed my life,” he said. “I’m now on my way to becoming a qualified carpenter and am building a secure future for my family.”
The Next Step project was piloted during 2010 having been developed and managed by Carmarthenshire County Council’s Building Services division in partnership with Communities First, Coleg Sir Gar, Carmarthenshire Construction and Training Association Ltd. and framework contractors Lloyd & Gravell Ltd.
The scheme aimed to provide training opportunities for six people living in the county. Shortlisted candidates were given hands on experience, of several trades including plastering, carpentry and bricklaying, whilst working in teams with Lloyd & Gravell’s qualified tradesmen and went head to head in a series of challenges designed to test their ability to learn skills.
Iwan Thomas the successful candidate is now working as an Apprentice Carpenter with Lloyd & Gravell Ltd.
NEXT STEPS 2011
Are you Ready to Take your Next Steps Towards a New Career?
An exciting competition is about to get underway in Carmarthenshire to find a new Full-time PAID Apprentice for Lloyd & Gravell Ltd. The competition is open to men and women who are aged over 16 and live in Carmarthenshire.
Candidates successful at interview will be invited to take part in six weeks of on-site skills training in carpentry, bricklaying and plastering, and will take part in exciting weekly challenges to test your learning ability
The winner will start a two-year paid apprenticeship with Lloyd & Gravell Ltd. in September. This could be the Next Steps towards your new future…
Next Steps is run in partnership between Carmarthenshire County Council’s Property Services division, Coleg Sir Gar, Carmarthenshire Construction and Training Association (CCTAL) and Lloyd and Gravell Ltd.
It is an exciting competition to find a new construction apprentice to work with Lloyd and Gravell Ltd.
Any person, male or female, aged over 16 and living in Carmarthenshire, can enter the competition to be in with a chance of winning a full-time paid apprenticeship for a minimum of two years.
Applications are invited by the close of day on Monday, 6th June, 2011. Forms can be downloaded from the PDF file below or from the Carmarthenshire County Council website www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk.
PDF Application Form
Interviews take place in June, and those successful will take part in an introductory college-based training period for two weeks. The competition is then whittled down to six candidates who are split in to two teams. These teams are ‘buddied up’ with mentors at Lloyd and Gravell, and take part in skills training on a working construction site in Carmarthenshire.Candidates can expect to get covered from head to toe in dust from pulling down ceilings, get knee-deep in sand and cement, and get their hands covered in plastering skim…
Candidates will also take part in weekly construction challenges in trades including plastering, bricklaying and carpentry. Those who come out best in the challenges will win rewards – but beware, those who do not fare so well may have to endure a forfeit…
A judging panel will be monitoring the candidates throughout, and with the help of the building site mentors, a winner will be chosen and announced in August.
The winner will then begin a full-time paid apprenticeship with Lloyd and Gravell for a minimum of two years, starting on Tuesday, August 30, 2011.
The competition process takes place over eight weeks, commencing on Monday, June 27th, 2011, and running until Friday, August 19th, 2011.
Candidates will be required to be available and take part in the process throughout this period - see timetable.
Candidates will be expected to work on a construction site, undertaking any necessary health and safety training, and to attend two weeks of college-based training at Coleg Sir Gar’s Ammanford campus (they will be expected to find their own transport).
A judging panel will monitor candidates throughout the competition process, and will announce their winner at Parc Y Scarlets on Friday, August 26, 2011.
The winner will be expected to commence a two-year minimum paid apprenticeship with Lloyd and Gravell Ltd on Tuesday, August 30, 2011.
The decision made by the judging panel is final, and no correspondence will be entered in to.
By taking part in the competition, candidates agree to take part in any supporting publicity, including press articles, interviews, photographs and filming, which may be published or broadcast in the press, online and via social media channels such as Facebook.
Monday, June 6th, 2011 Deadline for applications
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 Interviews take place at Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli
Thursday, June 16th, 2011 Interviews take place at Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli
Monday, June 27th, 2011 Successful candidates commence two weeks of college-based training
Monday, July 11th, 2011 Week 1 – onsite training
Monday, July 18th, 2011 Week 2 – onsite training
Monday, July 25th, 2011 Week 3 – onsite training
Monday, August 1st, 2011 Week 4 – onsite training
Monday, August 8th, 2011 Week 5 – onsite training
Monday, August 15th, 2011 Week 6 – onsite training
Friday, August 26th, 2011 Winner announced at Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 Winner starts apprenticeship with Lloyd & Gravell Ltd
Partners and Links
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Property Services Division
Lloyd & Gravell Ltd
Coleg Sir Gâr
Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association Ltd (CCTAL)
Next Step Project
2010 - Iwan Thomas, Apprentice Carpenter. Iwan a former pro-golfer, had ...
Next Step - Constructing a New Career
A group of young building apprentices have laid the foundations for a career in construction as part of an innovative new project.
The ‘Next Step’ project was developed and managed by Carmarthenshire County Council Building Services division in partnership with Communities First, Coleg Sir Gar, Carmarthenshire Construction and Training Association Ltd. (CCTAL) and framework contractors Lloyd & Gravell Ltd.
A group of apprentices were recruited and worked in teams with Lloyd & Gravell’s qualified tradesmen renovating the council’s housing stock as part of the Carmarthenshire Homes Standard. They were given hands on experience of several trades including plastering, carpentry and bricklaying and then went head to head in a series of challenges designed to test their ability to learn skills.
The winning team were rewarded with prizes donated from local sponsors. The losing team endured forfeits from cleaning muddy cars at the racing circuit, to scrubbing and cleaning seats at Parc y Scarlets stadium and collecting golf balls and the golf club’s driving range.
Iwan Thomas of Brynamman won a full time paid apprenticeship with Lloyd & Gravell Ltd., with the runner up, Vince Sheenan also winning an apprenticeship with another local firm.
At the award ceremony Kevin Gravell confirmed that the calibre of candidates on the programme was extremely high. All candidates had shown tremendous commitment and dedication to learning new skills as part of the programme. The craftsmen working alongside the candidates had found the whole process to be very rewarding. There were no losers though, as all the recruits were given college placements at Coleg Sir Gar.
Phil Lumley, Head of Property Services said “We started this project off with a few ideas on how to encourage more young people to take up construction apprenticeships, and it grew into a fantastic project which we hope to repeat next year”.
Winner Iwan Thomas, age 26, from Brynamman.
Dad of two Iwan, a former pro-golfer, wanted to become a carpenter. Iwan won the project, and is now employed as an apprentice carpenter with Lloyd &Gravell Ltd.
Runner-up Vincent Sheenan, age 31, from Bynea.
New dad Vincent also wanted to become a qualified carpenter, and was thrilled to win a runner-up apprenticeship with another local firm.
William Jones, age 16, from Pontarddulais.
William had finished his GCSE’s at Ysgol Gyfyn y Gwyr, and has his sights set on becoming a carpenter.
Michael Jones, age 16, from Carway.
Michael has already made a good start to his building career and has enrolled at Coleg Sir Gar to study bricklaying.
Liam Griffiths, age 16 from Trimsaran.
Liam left school early and wants to pursue a career in bricklaying. He hopes to qualify with good skills and experience from Coleg Sir Gar.
Vincent Sheenan from Bynea impressed so much throughout the competition that he was offered an apprenticeship by another Carmarthenshire-based firm. He is now working towards becoming a qualified carpenter. He had previously worked as a labourer.
Sixteen-year-olds William Jones, Michael Jones and Liam Griffiths also took part in the Next Steps competition. Although they didn’t win, the impressed the judging panel so much with their commitment and enthusiasm that they were all offered places on Coleg Sir Gar’s Pathways to Apprenticeship scheme. They are nearing the completion of their first year, and are all progressing well.
William is hoping to qualify as a carpenter, and Michael and Liam are each working towards a qualification in bricklaying.
Award Winners - Innovative Next Step Project Wins Carmarthenshire County Council Shine Awards 2010
The Next Step project was developed and managed by Carmarthenshire County Council Building Services division in partnership with Communities First, Coleg Sir Gar, Carmarthenshire Construction and Training Association Ltd. and framework contractors Lloyd & Gravell Ltd.
The scheme aimed to provide training opportunities for six people living in the county, not in education, employment or training and disadvantaged young people.
The shortlisted candidates were given hands on experience, of several trades including plastering, carpentry and bricklaying, whilst working in teams with Lloyd & Gravell’s qualified tradesmen, renovating the council’s housing stock as part of the Carmarthenshire Homes Standard. They then went head to head in a series of challenges designed to test their ability to learn skills.
Iwan Thomas of Brynamman won a full time paid carpentry apprenticeship with Lloyd & Gravell Ltd.
The innovative project won both the Carmarthenshire County Council Technical Services - Partnership Working - Shine Award 2010 and Overall Carmarthenshire County Council Shine Award 2010 in November, 2010.
In the picture:
Dave Gilbert, Director of Regeneration & Leisure/Deputy Chief Executive, Ray Symes, Senior Operations Officer, Meryl Gravell, Leader, Louise Rozhon, Sponsorship & Promotions Officer, Carmarthenshire County Council, Kevin Gravell, Lloyd & Gravell Ltd. and Anthony Rees, Carmarthenshire Construction and Training Association Ltd.