top of page

Twilight Saga

Collaboration Drives Port Talbot Skills Development 


Welders not werewolves were inhabiting Port Talbot's docklands last night with no sign of Michael Sheen's Aro.


Instead, skills development and career pathways were at the forefront of an innovative collaboration between Neath Port Talbot Council (NPTC) and The JES Skills Academy, a new Centre of Excellence  for the development of welding and fabrication in south Wales, which is funded by the UK government through the Shared Prosperity Fund. 


A series of 4 twilight training taster sessions are being held over February and early March to promote the opportunities and career pathways that exist for job seekers and those looking for career change.


''We are delighted to be holding and hosting these sessions'', said Head of Academy Sam Owen ''and I'm even more delighted to be welcoming NPTC Employability Anchor Team Manager Helen Mears alongside the attendees this evening.  By giving up her evening to be with us, it demonstrates her and her staff's commitment to this initiative, which from the outset has been totally positive. The Skills Academy is dedicated to the development of the skills that lead to immediate gainful employment. If tonight's attendees enjoy the sessions and want to commit to our courses, the only objective we have after that, is to train them up to a level where they can leave the Academy and go straight into work. Across south Wales and indeed the UK, there is a shortage of welders, a situation only likely to worsen. The Skills Academy has been established to fill that void. Helen and her team understand the individual and community need, our job is to help them address it''.


Responding to Owen's comments, NPTC's Employability Manager Kerry Jones said, ''JES's  project team have given all of us a very clear understanding of the importance of welding to the NPT community. It appears as a priority area in nearly every strategic economic document across south Wales and we recognise and embrace the work being done at the Academy. Not only is it positive but it's also innovative and proactive and represents one of the solutions needed for future employability prospects in NPT. Everyone is committed to the drive to reduce carbon emissions and Net Zero, even NPT's biggest employer Tata, but Net Zero is unachievable without welding. Steelmaking, carbon capture, renewable energy through On and Offshore wind, floating foundation and hydrogen electrolyser all require the 'hands-on' trades like welding, fabrication and pipe-fitting. Through The Skills Academy, JES are committed to making NPT a centre of excellence for the development of welding skills.Both I and the larger Employability Team at NPTC which comes under my remit, recognise and support their efforts for the likely impact that we believe it will have on employment in the county borough''.

bottom of page