Two Torfaen residents are the first to pass NVQ qualifications as part of the Welsh Government Foundational Economy Challenge Fund. They passed their Level 2 NVQ in Fabrication and Welding as part of a new approach to learning whilst working. Furthermore, they have now been offered full-time contracts at the same company they trained at.

In partnership with Torfaen Voluntary Alliance, Torfaen County Borough Council and Coleg Gwent, Dan Long and Cecilio Muniz joined Pontypool-based Pro Steel Engineering in November 2020 and completed modules including marking out, working effectively and efficiently in engineering, and producing a manual / semi-manual fillet weld during that time.

Upskilling@Work, a funded operation supported by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government was also instrumental in providing the funding that was used for the NVQs and TAQA qualifications required for Dan and Cecilio to pass.

They learned all aspects of fabrication and welding on-site with the firm’s experienced team members and had the opportunities to work on live client projects including Newport Train Station Footbridge.

Director and co-founder of Pro Steel Engineering, Richard Selby said: “I’m thrilled for Dan and Cecilio. They joined the company with enthusiasm to learn, high levels of dedication, and worked positively with the wider team straight away. They really stood out during the initial recruitment process to us, and we’ve been impressed with their professional journeys to date with us and I’m ecstatic we could offer them permanent roles to keep them.”

Prior to the traineeships, Dan achieved a BA in Games Design from the University of South Wales but was looking for something “more hands-on” career-wise, and Cecilio was teaching Spanish in Madrid.

Dan said: ‘I have found it really insightful learning within a working environment. It was definitely a better option for me personally to combine hands-on experience with coursework as opposed to just learning the theory and then starting the job search from scratch with little, or no work experience.”

Richard said: “I know the value of hard-working team members, and so if other businesses are able to provide entry-level opportunities like this, it will certainly make a big difference economically across the Gwent area.

“A big thanks to the organisations like Torfaen County Borough Council, Coleg Gwent and Torfaen Voluntary Alliance for making this possible for us to coordinate and manage.”

Dan and Cecilio will now look to join the rest of our team in helping to manufacture high profile structural steel projects across the UK and develop a more in-depth knowledge of fabrication processes.

Aimi Morris, Operational Executive Officer at Torfaen Voluntary Alliance said: “This has been an exciting project for us to be involved with, and we have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the possibilities of what can be achieved with the Private, Public and Third Sector working together – establishing a robust framework that breaks the barriers of accessing training for the employer and employee.”


Watch our summary video of the project here