FIVE lucky candidates have spent a week at Coleg Sir Gar as part of Next Steps 2017.

Over a five-day period, and to be in with a chance of winning a paid construction apprenticeship with Lloyd and Gravell Ltd and TRJ Ltd, the candidates participated in practical sessions in carpentry, plastering and bricklaying.

They completed manual handling, working at height and asbestos awareness training and achieved their Level One award in Health and Safety Construction Environment.

Next Steps is an annual competition with firms, TRJ Ltd and Lloyd & Gravell Ltd, teaming up with Constructing Carmarthenshire Together - a partnership between Carmarthenshire County Council’s Property Services section, Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association Ltd, Coleg Sir Gâr and CWIC.

Up to four apprenticeships are up for grabs and to be in with a chance of winning the finalists completed a number of tasks including on-site work experience to refurbish West Wales General Hospital’s Cilgerran Ward’s outside play area.

They will be mentored by qualified tradespeople on a community benefit project to learn skills including carpentry, bricklaying, plastering and ground works over the next three to four weeks.

They will complete their experience working on Lloyd & Gravell and TRJ Ltd. sites.

This year the project is also being supported by donations from CCTAL members and local suppliers.

Since 2010, more than 60 candidates have taken part on the Next Steps Scheme.

Seventeen of those candidates have won traditional apprenticeships with Lloyd and Gravell Ltd and TRJ Ltd.

Fifteen have secured apprenticeships on the Shared Apprenticeship Scheme with CCTAL/Cyfle Building Skills.

A total of 25 have enrolled on full time education at Coleg Sir Gâr.

One winner who completed his apprenticeship with Lloyd and Gravell has since started his own business taking on apprentices also.

The competition winners are due to start their apprenticeships in September.