Menter Môn is a third sector social enterprise that delivers a range of EU and Welsh Government projects across North Wales. It also has Local Action Group (LAG) status and delivers its own projects and on the behalf of others. The APPrentis project is funded through the Rural Development Programme and is a cooperation project across Anglesey, Gwynedd and Conwy. Funding is provided through the EU, the Welsh Government and the three Local Authorities. Menter Môn developed the project and is responsible for delivery.
APPrentis aims to encourage small businesses to make better use of mobile technology, and improve links between the regions ablest young people and the economy. To this end the APPrentis project was developed to arrange paid work for undergraduates in Anglesey, Gwynedd and rural Conwy. The undergraduates are not necessarily experts in technology, however as regular users of smart phones, social media and mobile applications they are very familiar with it. The project seeks to nurture their aptitude in order to encourage and enable local businesses to adopt the latest technology. This is a pilot project and therefore participating students and businesses must embrace the overall aims and accept that success will be largely dependent on the commitment of those taking part.
The main features of the project are as follows:
The project requires a minimum of 45 undergraduate (15 in each county) however it is important that businesses are able to select a suitable candidate based on skills, discipline and experience. We are therefore seeking to develop a database of up to 100 undergraduates from which the business can select. The business can also nominate an undergraduate themselves however they would still need to demonstrate their suitability. Likewise students can nominate a business.
Start date: The placements start on Monday, June 24th and last for 10 weeks. There will be an event on June 21st in Caernarfon which will be aimed mainly at the undergraduates.
Salary: Students will be paid £250 per week and are expected to work full working days (7.5 hours) for the four days and the Academy Day (10 - 4). The business is expected to contribute 20% of the salary which equates to £500 over the 10 weeks. This may be reduced if additional funding can be sourced however this is unconfirmed.
Holiday: Undergraduates are allowed to take up to 3 days holiday over the 10 weeks, however these cannot be taken on the Academy days. Previous experience from similar placement schemes informs us that these days are important and provides the undergraduates with some flexibility.
Sickness and poor performance: The host business is afforded a degree of discretion; however given the length of the placement we reserve the right to terminate the employment if sickness or poor performance becomes an issue. This would only be done in agreement with the host business.
The recruitment process will be as follows:
The aim of the academy is to provide the undergraduates with the understanding and skills to enable the business to develop their use of technology. The company appointed to undertake the work is Geosho based in Caernarfon and they will deliver the academies over the 10 weeks. They will be aimed at non-technical undergraduates, however any prior knowledge will be an advantage.
The main elements of the syllabus include the following:
It should be emphasised that the host business should embrace this element of the project and where possible get involved. Business may be invited to attend on occasions to contribute to the academies.
All original course material will be bilingual with some notable exceptions due to the subject matter. The Academies are bilingual and participants are welcome to contribute in the language of their choice. The language of delivery will depend on the linguistic dynamic of the group however it will probably involve Welsh and English.
Attendance at the Academies is a central part of the project and should not in any way be treated as optional. A salary is being paid and absence without a genuine reason will result in the undergraduate being removed from the project.
APPrentis will offer an opportunity for many to gain paid employment over the summer. However it should be considered a great deal more than this. Over the 10 weeks we expect the undergraduates to gain the following:
Those participating should appreciate that the project (80%) and business (20%) is paying a salary and therefore there are expectations in terms of performance. Future projects of this type will depend on largely on the commitment of the undergraduates.