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Finalists revealed for Wales HR Awards 2018

The 2018 Wales HR Awards finalists have been announced following a record number of entries.

Launched in 2017 by leading recruitment agency Acorn and commercial law firm Darwin Gray, the Awards will see 350 HR professionals from Wales descend on the Exchange Hotel in Cardiff for a black-tie evening to celebrate the success of more than 50 finalists.
Hosted by the BBC’s Sian Lloyd, the Awards recognise the best HR professionals of all levels, from apprentices to directors, and businesses as a whole across a variety of industries in Wales – showcasing the commitment, hard work and achievements of individuals and teams within the HR profession over the last 12 months.

Winners will be announced at the event on Friday 23 March, which features inspirational keynote speakers from Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award: Partnership Manager for the DofE Award charity, Ian Gwilym, and DofE Young Ambassador, Billie Horsey.

Rounding off the celebrations will be entertainment from local Welsh band Big Mac’s Wholly Soul – with more surprises throughout the evening.

Acorn’s Director of Operations for South Wales Maria Larcombe said: “The Wales HR Awards is a fantastic platform to recognise the best HR talent in Wales. The calibre of entries this year has been exceptional, which made the judging process very difficult. We wish all of our excellent finalists the best of luck and can’t wait to see everyone on the 23rd.”

Darwin Gray’s Head of Employment Law and HR Fflur Jones added: “We have been overwhelmed with entries this year, with first class nominations coming from across Wales from a wide range of sectors. All of our finalists should be very proud of their achievement in being shortlisted – we’re looking forward to crowning our 2018 champions at the ceremony!”

Categories up for grabs include HR Team of the Year, Best Use of the Welsh Language, Independent HR Consultant of the Year, HR Director of the Year, HR Apprentice/Trainee of the Year and awards for Best HR Professional in a variety of sectors.

Brand new to the Awards for 2018 is HR Star of the Year and Employer of the Year, with all winners being selected by a panel of industry professionals.

For more information on the finalists or to book tickets, visit www.waleshrawards.cymru. Limited tickets are available, so please book now to avoid disappointment.


The 2018 finalists are:


Category Finalists
HR Team of the YearSponsored by Bowen Eldridge


Go CompareFirst Source

Circle IT

TATA Steel

ITEC Training Solutions

ACT Training



Wales Audit Office

Tai Tarian Limited

Best Use of the Welsh Language in HRSponsored by Cymraeg Gwaith


HR Department, Bangor University / Prifysgol BangorHR Team, Menter a Busnes

Nia Bennett, Effectus HR

Independent HR Consultant of the YearSponsored by Orchard Kerry Chown, Swim Wales (Colbalt HR)Emma Del Torto, Effective HRM

Alan Kitto, Circle IT (Sound HR Advice)

Nia Bennett, Effectus HR

HR Director of the YearSponsored by Quantum Advisory Alex Currie, Go CompareJo Sweeney, Watkin Jones

Sarah King, Gower College

Alison Noon-Jones, Leidos Europe Limited

Claire Humphries, Retail Merchandising Services

HR Apprentice/Trainee/Assistant of the YearSponsored by ACT Emily Durrant, Go CompareAdrian Sargeant, Go Compare

Nina Williams, WRW Construction Ltd

Best HR Professional – Financial/Professional ServicesSponsored by Sweetmans and Partners Amy Foat, First SourceCath Day, New Directions

Kirsty Bousie, Lextox

Andrea Wallbank, Business in Focus

Phil Lewis, Red Apple Group

Best HR Professional – Public/Third Sector Nick Carter, Cardiff and Vale CollegeSarah King, Gower College

Jane Evans, Taff Housing Association

Vicky Nicholas, Family Housing Association Wales

Nouran Al-Jandali, Chwarae Teg

Kelly Mordecai, Tai Tarian

Best HR Professional – IT/TechnologySponsored by RMS


Cerys Davies, VeeqoJennifer Griffiths, Circle IT

Manjit Waters, Smartpipe Solutions

Lisa Hand, Sigma Systems

Emily Webb, Liberty Marketing

Best HR Professional – Construction/Manufacturing/Engineering Rhianon Fitzmaurice, HWMVictoria Goodwin, West Rock MPS
Employer of the YearSponsored by Capital Law The Number HubRetail Merchandising Services

TATA Steel

New Directions

ACT Training


Bar 44 Group Limited

Tai Tarian Limited

Bluestone Resorts Limited

Gower College