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Tomorrow’s Talent finalist maps out his future as a data scientist

Joe Peskett’s success on a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Data Analytics at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has already seen him travel to Europe and America, with a trip to Africa planned for next year.

Working at the Data Science Campus, part of the ONS’s Headquarters in Newport, which is home to 2,500 employees, Joe excelled on his two-year apprenticeship and has now stepped into a full-time role as a Data Scientist.

Now he has been shortlisted for the new Tomorrow’s Talent Award at next month’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, the annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships.

The new award seeks to reward a current apprentice who has ‘demonstrated significant personal progress’ and has made ‘a tangible and positive impact on their employer’s organisational performance.’

Thirty-four finalists in a dozen categories are in the running for the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which will be presented at a high-profile ceremony at the new International Convention Centre Wales, Newport on October 24.

The awards showcase the successes of the best learners, employers, tutors and assessors in Wales who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeship and Apprenticeship programmes.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru has Openreach, the UK’s digital network business, as its premier sponsor this year. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Joe’s first year team work on ‘Mapping the Urban forest’ – which developed data, based on Google street-view images, to analyse images of greenery on city streets – led to him developing a prototype visualisation tool.

His innovative work has seen him deliver lectures to 800 delegates in Brussels before moving on to working with the UN Global Platform team and subsequently working in Philadelphia on how to deploy tools on the new platform.

Next year, 25-year-old Joe will head to Rwanda to train data scientists on work developed through the UN Global Platform in the analysis of satellite imagery.

Alison Adams, Emerging Talent Lead at the ONS, said: “Joe is a role model for other ONS apprentices, often helping them progress and always willing to share knowledge.”

Joe, from Cardiff, said: “My apprenticeship was supported by training provider ALS. My ALS training advisor Anu gave me on-the-job guidance, underpinned with the technical off-the-job training at the ALS centre.

“I love what I do as there are constant new challenges. I enjoy the buzz when you finally develop solutions. There’s a great collaborative component to my work, discussing problems with colleagues and sharing ideas.”

Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, congratulated Joe and all the other shortlisted finalists.

“Our Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes are helping increasing numbers of people to gain the skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need,” he said.

“The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of everyone involved in those programmes from our star apprentices and employers, to learning providers and trainees.”