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Hunt launched to find Apprenticeship Awards Cymru stars

ITV Cymru Wales’ head of news and programmes, Phil Henfrey, with apprentices Zahra Errami, Mollie Latham, Safyan Iqbal and Eugenia Taylor.

Successful employers, inspirational learners and dedicated work-based learning practitioners across Wales are being encouraged to enter the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021 to showcase their outstanding achievements.

The prestigious awards are launched today, as the hunt begins to find the businesses and individuals who have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes and gone above and beyond during these unprecedented times.

Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates said: “Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes make a huge contribution to our economy and will be crucial as we recover from the impacts of coronavirus. That is why they form a vital part of our recently announced £40m jobs and skills package, which will see more support being made available.

“Despite this being an incredibly challenging time, we have seen the talent and on-going commitment of our businesses, providers and learners shine through. The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of those involved in our programmes and inspire others to follow their example.

“I encourage them all to use this occasion to share their experiences and successful learning journeys with us.”

Application forms are available to be downloaded from gov.wales/apprenticeshipawardscymru and the closing date for entries is 12 noon, 30 October 2020.

From the applications, finalists in 12 categories will be shortlisted for awards.

The employability category includes awards for Traineeship Learner of the Year for Engagement and Level 1.

There are also awards for the Foundation Apprentice, Apprentice and Higher Apprentice of the Year.

Introduced last year, the “Tomorrow’s Talent” 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.’

Successful businesses are recognised with awards for small (1 to 49), medium (50 to 249), large (250 to 4,999) and macro (5,000 plus) employer of the year, while work-based learning practitioners will compete for assessor and tutor of the year.

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru are organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). The awards are valued greatly by learners, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners across Wales.

Phil Henfrey, head of news and programmes at ITV Cymru Wales, which won the Medium Employer of the Year Award last year, said: “I think making the finals and winning against such incredible competition from right across Wales has demonstrated to the wider business and public sector community in Wales how ITV Cymru Wales is changing as a business.

“When we set out on the Apprenticeship Programme, I hoped that our apprentices would teach us just as much as we could teach them – and so it has proved. They are bringing new skills and new insights into what we do, enabling us to become a digitally led media company that is creating new digital content for new audiences and that is really exciting.

“I entered the Awards because I was so fantastically proud of what we had achieved and of our apprentices and the managers who had worked so hard to make it happen.

“Winning the award has been a validation of everyone’s hard work at ITV Wales to make a success of our Apprenticeship Programme. It was a memorable night that will live long in the memory.”

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.