More than 800 people have applied for just 17 construction apprenticeships in Swansea, demonstrating just how highly regarded the workplace training programmes are by people looking to embark on construction careers.

The budding tradespeople submitted applications for the apprenticeships with Swansea Council, which will see them opt for training in a variety of skills, including plumbing, plastering, carpentry and electrics, and study for NVQ Level 3 qualifications.

The apprenticeships are part of a major recruitment drive by the Welsh city council over the last two years, which has attracted nearly 2,000 applicants in total. The council’s cabinet member for learning and skills, Will Evans, said that it was encouraging to see how highly valued the training places are.

“It’s important to us that we do all we can to ensure the financial investment we make in the city supports local communities in a practical way,” he explained. “In this case successful applicants will not only be setting themselves up for a career in a highly sought-after trade, they’ll also be working on projects like improving homes for people in their neighbourhoods.”

Given the varied environment that county council covers, the apprentices could find themselves carrying out a wide range of work: joinery apprentices could see themselves making updates to rural buildings on the popular tourist area of the Gower Peninsula, while electrical apprentices will have the chance to work on urban infrastructure in the heart of Swansea City.

The council’s head of corporate building and property services, Martin Nicholls, added, “These are tough economic times when many people are finding it hard to access employment but our successful apprenticeship scheme, which is delivered in conjunction with the Council’s employment training department, offers a pathway to a career as a skilled tradesperson.”