Star employers, inspirational learners and dedicated work-based learning practitioners across Wales have been shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.
The annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships will see 36 finalists compete in 12 categories for awards at a virtual ceremony on April 29.
Highlight of the of the work-based learning calendar, the awards showcase businesses and individuals who have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes and gone the extra mile to achieve success during these unprecedented times.
The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru are jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Openreach, the UK’s digital network business and passionate supporter of apprenticeships, has renewed its headline sponsorship of the awards.
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates said: “Congratulations to all of the learners, employers, tutors and assessors shortlisted for Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021.
“This past year has been incredibly difficult but we have seen the best in people too, as they demonstrated the talent, skills and commitment to not only succeed themselves but also support others.
“Apprenticeships play a crucial role in the Welsh economy and allow people to earn a wage whilst developing new skills and capabilities. I believe they will be vital in helping us recover from the impacts of coronavirus.
“As a government, we have already achieved our target of creating 100,000 apprenticeships in the Senedd term. I am delighted that thanks to Welsh Government action, we are providing apprentices and trainees of all ages with important experiences which will benefit firms in all sectors of our business community now and in the future.”
Connie Dixon, partnership director for Openreach in Wales, said: ”We’re delighted to be supporting this great event once again this year and would like to congratulate all the finalists for making it this far.
“Apprenticeships have always been a key part of Openreach’s recruitment strategy. Not only do they bring energy, excitement, and enthusiasm to our business, but they also bring new skills, new experiences and new ideas. Good luck to all the finalists.”
Successful businesses are recognised with awards in four categories. The finalists are: Small Employer of the Year (1 to 49 employees): Compact Orbital Gears, Rhayader; Wales England Care Limited, Newport and Thomas Skip and Plant Hire, Caernarfon. Medium Employer of the Year (50 to 249 employees): Andrew Scott Limited, Port Talbot; Convey Law, Newport and Cambria Maintenance Services Limited, Ewloe. Large Employer of the Year (250 to 4,999 employees): Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police, Carmarthen; Aspire Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil and Dow Silicones UK Limited, Barry. Macro Employer of the Year (5,000 plus employees): Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, Clydach Vale and Swansea Bay University Health Board, Baglan.
Work-based learning practitioners compete for two awards. Finalists are: Work-based Learning Assessor of the Year: Matt Redd, from Cardiff who works for Sgil Cymru, Rebecca Strange from Thornhill, Cardiff who works for Educ8 Group and Lydia Harris from Bridgend who works for JGR Training. Work-based Learning Tutor of the Year: Stephanie Fry from Wales England Care, Newport, Hannah Kane-Roberts from Splott, Cardiff who works for Itec and Karen Richards from Blackwood who works for ACT, Cardiff.
Awards for apprentices are split into four categories. Finalists are: Foundation Apprentice of the Year: Bethany Mason, 21, Llantrisant; Stevie Williams, 36, of Goytre, Port Talbot and Joel Mallison, 30, of Abergavenny. Apprentice of the Year: William Davies, 20, Aberdare; Owain Carbis, 19, Thornhill, Cardiff; Owen Lloyd, 23, Coed y Cwm, Pontypridd. Higher Apprentice of the Year: Natalie Morgan, 33, Penarth; Rhyanne Rowlands, 38, Aberdare; Ciara Lynch, 22, Morriston, Swansea.
Introduced in 2019, the “Tomorrow’s Talent” category asked employers to nominate stand out current apprentices. Finalists are Sophie Williams, 21, from Hirwaun, who works for Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council’s foster service; Connor Paskell, 21, from Llantrisant, who works for British Airways Avionic Engineering, Llantrisant and Ryan Harris, 21, from Hawthorn, Pontypridd who works for Renishaw plc, Miskin.
An employability category recognises learners in two categories. Finalists are: Traineeship Learner of the Year for Engagement: Jessica Apps, 19, of Forge Side, Blaenavon; Ross Vincent, 18, of Pembroke Dock and Lewis O’Neill, 17, Garden City, Deeside. Traineeships Learner of the Year (Level 1): Thibaud Gailliard, 21, of Ebbw Vale; James Hopkins, 20, of Beachley, Chepstow and Chloe Harvey, 19, of Monkton, Pembroke.