Transforming Lives: Itec Partners with Margam Park to Empower Youth

The Jobs Growth Wales+ (JGW+) programme is making a significant impact by providing young people with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and develop new skills through incredible placements. This initiative is designed to help those who find traditional college environments unsuited to their needs, offering them full-time roles where they can immerse themselves in all aspects of daily work life.

We are thrilled to collaborate with Margam Park, which has opened its doors to three of our exceptional learners, offering them fascinating work experience positions in agriculture and horticulture. These learners, Isaac Miller, Coby Graham, and Ethan King, have expressed a strong desire to gain hands-on experience and build on their prior knowledge, and Margam Park has been an ideal partner in this journey.

Meet Our Learners

Isaac Miller (Neath Centre) – AgricultureIsaac has found his passion in agriculture, particularly in tending to animals and understanding their behaviors. “I enjoy tending to the animals and learning their behaviors. I help maintain the park by keeping the animals safe, clean, and fed. I have also assisted in maintaining the park’s train by clearing and maintaining the tracks before the public arrives and learned how to herd the cows, which is something new to me,” says Isaac. His role at Margam Park has provided him with a comprehensive understanding of daily agricultural tasks and animal care.

Ethan King (Bridgend) – AgricultureEthan’s daily routine involves caring for the animals and preparing their feed. He finds joy in watching visitors interact with the animals and is always ready to answer their questions. “I have also taken part in public speaking, where I held a talk about our deer to an audience. This was a big responsibility that I really enjoyed. The staff at Margam Park are welcoming, and the experience is invaluable,” shares Ethan. His experience has not only enhanced his agricultural skills but also boosted his confidence in public speaking.

Coby Graham (Bridgend) – HorticultureCoby has immersed himself in the horticulture aspect of the park, learning about different kinds of flowers, their planting seasons, and the maintenance of the Castle gardens. “I have learned about different kinds of flowers and when to plant them. I cut the hedges and weed the beds to help keep the Castle gardens in excellent condition. It doesn’t feel like work because I am enjoying learning about new things,” says Coby. His enthusiasm for horticulture is evident as he contributes to maintaining the beauty of Margam Park.

The Role of Our Support Team

The success of our learners is greatly supported by our dedicated Employability Officers, Gareth Williams and Hannah Taylor, and our committed Learner Coaches, Angela Price and Stephanie Jones. Their guidance and support have been crucial in helping our learners navigate their placements and make the most of the opportunities provided by the JGW+ programme.

A Community Effort

Margam Park’s commitment to supporting young adults is exemplified by Operations Manager Gary Davies. “It is a great opportunity for the learners to experience the work that goes into maintaining the park and how different times of the year bring in new developments and how to plan for the seasons ahead,” says Gary. The park’s staff, including Agriculture Manager Liam and Assistant Gardener Ryan Morgan, have praised the hard work and dedication of our learners.

Liam, the Agriculture Manager, comments, “Isaac and Ethan are a pleasure to have and they work very hard to help us with our duties.” Ryan Morgan adds, “When I was 16, I also took part in a similar programme, so I know firsthand the benefits of trying different industries to see which suits you the most. I think the JGW+ is a great option for learners who are unsure of what path to take. It enables people to identify their strengths for job satisfaction.”

Looking Ahead

Margam Park offers a wide range of roles, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration to provide our learners with various placement options. This partnership not only helps our learners gain practical skills but also allows them to explore different career paths, fostering their personal and professional development.

The Jobs Growth Wales+ programme, in partnership with Margam Park, is proving to be an invaluable resource for young people seeking to gain work experience and develop new skills. Through hands-on experience and community support, our learners are well on their way to successful and fulfilling careers.