Three young school leavers from south west Wales have beaten competition from dozens of other hopefuls for the chance to kick start their careers with Ospreys Rugby.
Careers Wales West has helped the Regional Professional Club appoint three apprentice assistants in its administration, marketing and accounts departments - Jolene Davies, 19, of Seven Sisters, Rachael Butler, 17, of Cefn Hengoed and Scott Morgan, 17, of Morriston.
All three were recruited with the help of a team of advisors from Careers Wales West, who supported the Ospreys in their search for suitable employees – from advising on how best to advertise the vacancies to short listing the most suitable candidates and helping to interview the prospective apprentices.
The Ospreys approached Careers Wales for advice as they were looking to appoint additional business support staff after undergoing a restructure of their team. Despite not revealing the identity of the employer, over 50 people applied for the positions and Careers Wales West helped the club select 10 for interview. They offered each candidate the opportunity to attend a mock interview with Training Employment Advisers prior to the formal interviews taking place.
As General Manager of the Ospreys Andrew Piddington explains, he had been keen to employ youngsters from the local community and so was particularly interested in offering apprenticeships.
“We have been very pleased with the support we have received from Careers Wales West,” he said. “Their recommendation of taking on apprentices and their subsequent help throughout the recruitment process has enabled us to employ three enthusiastic, very capable local youngsters and give them an exciting opportunity to start their careers.
“The quality of the candidates put forward for interview was very impressive and I would happily have offered positions to several of them if we had had more vacancies to fill. Jolene, Rachael and Scott have all made a really positive start with us and I am confident that they will all make valuable contributions to our team over the course of their apprenticeships.”
Commenting on the success of the project, Nigel Phillips, employment liaison officer from Careers Wales West, said:
“Recruiting employees through an apprenticeship scheme is a great way of giving youngsters the opportunity to learn on the job through first hand experiences while at the same time following a structured training programme and getting paid.
“We are extremely pleased to have been able to help the Ospreys in this way. By working together we believe we found the best people for the jobs and are confident that all three will make the most of this fantastic opportunity.”
The three youngsters have settled into the positions well and are enjoying being part of the behind-the-scenes team at the Liberty Stadium. As well as their day-to-day tasks, they all play a key role in helping with preparations for match days and are all undertaking training courses with City & County of Swansea Employment & Training.