There is still time to be part of the annual Wales-wide celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships, the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.
The closing date for entries is 12 noon, 3 May, and application forms are available online at gov.wales/apprenticeshipawardscymru.
Culminating in a high-profile ceremony at the International Convention Centre Wales in Newport on October 24th, the prestigious awards showcase the successes of learners, employers, tutors and assessors who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s traineeship and apprenticeship programmes.
There are 12 categories, including a new “Tomorrow’s Talent” category, which gives employers the opportunity to nominate a current apprentice who has ‘demonstrated significant personal progress’ and has made ‘a tangible and positive impact on the employer’s organisational performance.’
The Employability category has awards for Traineeship Learner of the Year for Engagement and Level 1. There are awards too for the best Foundation Apprentice, Apprentice and Higher Apprentice of the Year.
Successful employers are recognised with awards for small (1 to 49 employees), medium (50 to 249), large (250 to 4,999), and macro (5,000 plus) employers of the year. Work-based learning practitioner excellence is rewarded with two accolades – assessor and tutor of the year.
The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru are jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Such is the importance placed on growing its skilled workforce that Celtica Foods – winner of last year’s Medium Employer of the Year category – established an in-house training academy.
Over the past five years, the Carmarthenshire catering butchery and meat processing company has trained 30 apprentices, with six currently on its books.
A division of Welsh independent foodservice wholesaler Castell Howell Foods, Celtica operates from a £5m state-of-the-art butchery in Cross Hands and supplies meat to restaurants, pubs, the hospitality and catering sectors, hospitals and schools.
Said Castell Howell Group CSR & Training Manager, Edward Morgan, “Winning the category award in 2018 was a proud achievement for the team at Celtica.
“We recognise the challenges of introducing potential employees to the food industry, especially the meat sector. A clear, defined career pathway within the structure of the apprenticeship framework is key to attract and retain new talent. We have existing colleagues who have completed Level 2, level 3 and level 4 and are now middle and senior managers within the company.
“The award underlines their hard work; however, we cannot be complacent, and we must use the 2018 accolade as a springboard for continued improvement.”
Said Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ken Skates: “We know businesses place great value on the Welsh Government’s apprenticeships and traineeship programmes as they help people to achieve the skills and experience needed by all sectors of the economy in Wales.
“The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru is not just an opportunity to highlight these programmes but to celebrate and showcase the achievements of everyone involved from our star apprentices and employers to learning providers and trainees. I look forward to hearing about the many success stories from across Wales.”