We welcomed two trainees from the Torfaen area to the business back in November 2020.  This was part of our L2 NVQ Fabrication & Welding project working with Torfaen Voluntary Alliance, Torfaen County Borough Council and Coleg Gwent.

It’s a Welsh Government Foundational Economy Challenge project with a new approach to learning whilst working.

Here’s a quick Q&A update with one of our trainees Cecilio


Age: 31

From: Llantarnam

Where were you working/studying before starting the traineeship at Pro Steel? I was working in a restaurant as a supervisor and two years ago I was teaching Spanish in Madrid

How did you hear about the traineeship? Through TVA (Torfaen Voluntary Alliance)

What prompted you to sign up to the traineeship? The possibility of having a new career path mostly because the likelihood of me being a Spanish teacher in Wales was very limited. No previous experience was needed, they wanted someone who was punctual and willing to learn and I’m a keen learner and also very reliable

How have the last few months gone for you since starting, what have you learned and worked on? I’d say I can do a range of jobs with little direction because I’m comfortable with the tools I use most of the time. I’ve learnt different procedures that allows me to deliver a more precise and accurate job when it comes to welding plates/cutting materials and drilling.

What’s the best thing you’ve done so far? I don’t think it would be fair to say just one because I’ve done quite a few. The best thing though is Pro Steel allowing me to be better every single day by giving me little jobs that help me understand the business and hone my skills.

What are the advantages of a traineeship? The traineeship allows you to speed up the process of learning. It’s like learning a language like a baby. I have good models around the workshop that give me support and feedback and in turn, they guide me and push un the right direction. The fact that I can walk around the workshop and see other professionals’ work is precious and incredibly valuable. I consider myself a visual learner and having that possibility to see all sorts of procedures and techniques is something I wouldn’t have had if I was in a traditional teaching school/centre where everything is learnt by watching videos and for me, that’s the major advantage of the traineeship

Before starting your traineeship, what impression (if anything) did you have of engineering? I’ve struggled with maths in school my entire life. My first impression when I think of engineering is complicated and challenging. In other words, something I am not capable of, however, I truly believe I am able to learn and therefore, I decided to join this challenge.

Was it ever a career choice for example or did you not really know what jobs you could do in the sector? I wasn’t sure what jobs I could do in this sector, the only thing I knew was that welders are in demand and there’s not many.

Anything else to add? Now looking back, I can see how much progress I have made so far  and I’m looking forward to seeing myself in three months to reassess my progress once again.