Wales Air Ambulance takes on first-ever apprentices The Wales Air Ambulance has appointed its first-ever apprentices within the Cwmdu Warehouse in Swansea. Jack Tancock, Finley Edwards and Leon Neilly have been employed as the Charity’s Warehouse Sustainability Operative apprentices. Jack, 20, from Swansea, became the Charity’s first-ever apprentice in September and Finley and Leon started their posts in February. As part of their new roles, the trio are learning a variety of different aspects of the Charity whilst gaining experience and qualifications. The apprentices are working towards a Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board (WAMITAB) level 2 diploma in warehouse recycling and sustainability. Michelle Morris, the Charity’s Director of People and Organisational Development, said: “We are committed to the Future Generations of Wales Act through the strategic projects that are in both our Youth Engagement and Sustainability programmes. This includes providing opportunities for young people to gain meaningful employment and development opportunities. Our apprenticeship programme provides this; it offers a wonderful opportunity for younger people to learn “on the job”, receive a salary and gain a valuable and accredited qualification. The focus on sustainability within these roles also reinforces our strategic focus on developing a green agenda. “Whilst many apprenticeship schemes are for a set period, we are looking at the longer term, and offering the opportunity for our apprentices to become permanent members of the workforce on successful completion of their qualification. “We will continue to create more apprenticeship opportunities, create long term partnerships with educational bodies (schools, colleges and universities), youth and young people groups, and training providers to develop programmes that will attract the best candidates.” Jack said: “I want to do the apprenticeship to learn more and to get more experience on my C.V, whilst earning money. It feels really rewarding to work for the Wales Air Ambulance and I would encourage young people to apply for apprenticeships with the Charity to help them gain more experience.” Jack, Finley and Leon’s manager, Shaun Gower, said: “This is an exciting role for the apprentices as it’s not just warehouse work involved. It includes a 12-month professional level 2 diploma in sustainable recycling, which opens the door for applicants to gain higher diplomas in the future. “I’m feeling very optimistic with the apprentices. They have great potential to be the future of Wales Air Ambulance.” During the last seven months, Jack has learned, amongst other things, how to identify suitable donations not just for the shops but also for the Charity’s e-commerce platform, which included anything from bric-a-brac to clothing. For the recycling part of his role, he is learning to identify items that go for recycling, which also generates income for the Charity. The Wales Air Ambulance celebrated its 21st anniversary on St David’s Day. Now operational 24/7, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to keep the helicopters flying. Wales Air Ambulance offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’. The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia, and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care. A proud Leon added: “So far, the apprenticeship has been going great and it's been an amazing experience to be part of such a proud charity. Visiting Dafen really showed me how important the work I do is. I look forward to the future.” Finley, 17, from Pontlliw, said: “This has been the best couple of weeks I have had in a workplace because I am working with loads of great people. I have learned so many new things since being here, and I am looking forward to seeing what else is to come. “I decided to apply for this role as I wanted to set myself the challenge of trying something new and that's exactly what I did.” There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance. These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com. Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.