My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Finalists announced for Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022

Higher apprentice of the year finalist, Albert Brennan, Airbus Operations, Broughton

The shortlisted finalists for this year’s prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022 have been announced.

Highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, the awards are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Headline sponsor for the third year is Openreach.

The judging panel had the difficult task of whittling the large number of applications down to 23 finalists in nine award categories. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on November 10.

The awards highlight the outstanding achievements, during unprecedented times, of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated the shortlisted finalists and thanked all the employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners who had submitted applications.

“Apprenticeships make a huge contribution to our economy and will be crucial as Wales continues to bounce back from the pandemic,” he said. “They can help futureproof, motivate and diversify a workforce, offering people the chance to gain high-quality vocational skills.

“As part of our Young Person’s Guarantee, the Welsh Government will be investing £366 million over the next three years to deliver 125,000 all-age apprenticeships across Wales during the current term of government.

“We want to increase opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to develop transferable skills in the workplace and improve their lives. The investment will also help tackle skills shortages and gaps in priority sectors critical to drive productivity and economic growth, supporting our net zero ambitions, the every-day foundational economy and public services.”

Connie Dixon, partnership director for Wales for Openreach, also congratulated the finalists. “Apprentices play a crucial role for us as at Openreach as they bring new skills, energy and ways of working to the business which helps us build our ultrafast Full Fibre network across Wales,” she said.

“We place a great value on recruiting new apprentices, of all ages, into a wide range of roles and appreciate the significant contribution they bring to not only Openreach but also to the wider Welsh economy.”

The Foundation Apprentice of the Year finalists are:  Olivia Headley-Grant from Barry whose training provider is Cardiff and Vale College; Malgorzata Bienko from Llandudno, whose training provider is Arfon Dwyfor Training and Boglarka-Tunde Incze from Llanrug, Caernarfon whose training provider is Itec Skills and Employment.

The Apprentice of the Year finalists are: James Matthewman from Maesteg whose training provider is Bridgend College, Dion Evans from Talgarreg, Llandysul whose training providers are Coleg Ceredigion and Coleg Sir Gar and Kiera Dwyer from Rhydyfelin, Pontypridd whose training provider is Health Education and Improvement Wales.

Competing for the Higher Apprentice of the Year Award are: Albert Brennan from Cefn-y-Bedd, Wrexham whose training provider is Swansea University; Jayne Williams from Newport whose training provider is ACT and Michelle Gaskell from Abergavenny whose training provider is ALS Training.

Apprentice co-ordinator Steve Cope with apprentices at FSG Tool and Die in Llantrisant, a Small and Medium Employers of the Year finalist.

Small and Medium Employers of the Year finalists are Willow Daycare, Carmarthen whose training provider is TSW Training; Si Lwli, Whitchurch, Cardiff whose training provider is Educ8 Training; FSG Tool and Die, Llantrisant whose training provider is TSW Training and Newtown High School whose training provider is Portal Training.

Large and Macro Employers of the Year finalists are: Kepak Group, Merthyr Tydfil whose training provider is Cambrian Training Company; Persimmon Homes West Wales whose training provider is Bridgend College; Celsa Steel UK, Cardiff whose training provider is TSW Training and Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, Pontypridd who training provider is Educ8 Training.

Competing for the coveted Work-based Learning Practitioner of the Year Award, which recognises those cruciallyinvolved in delivering apprenticeships, are Victoria Morris from Educ8 Training, Ystrad Mynach, Hayley Walters from Itec Training Solutions, Cardiff and Angelina Mitchell from ACT, Cardiff

Tomorrow’s Talent finalists are: Chrystalla Moreton from Celsa Steel whose training provider is TSW Training; Anya O’Callaghan from Spirit Hair Team, Ystrad Mynach whose training provider is Educ8 Training and Evan Coombs from Aspire Blaenau Gwent whose training provider is Coleg y Cymoedd.

This award category 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 Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.