Apprentice Joe is key team member at Clydach refinery
Apprentice Joe Lewis has established himself as a key member of the team at award-winning Vale Europe Ltd’s nickel refinery at Clydach in the Swansea Valley.
Joe, 21, from Port Talbot, is employed in the company’s procurement and stores team and works alongside other departments to develop strategic tools used by the refinery to set goals and targets for its employees.
As well as synchronising a continuous improvement model with business strategy, he has used his skills and initiative to speed up the requisition to purchase order process, developed a workbook that tracks all high-level projects and improved the stock checking, invoice tracking and contract management systems.
Joe has a great understanding of IT systems and software and is always willing to help others to develop their IT skills, particularly at strategic level.
Now he has been recognised as one of Wales’ star learners by being shortlisted for this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. He will be competing to become Foundation Apprentice of the Year at the prestigious awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on October 20.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the coveted awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.
Thirty star learners, employers and learning providers involved in the delivery of successful skills programmes across Wales have been shortlisted for the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.
The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
The awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the outstanding achievements of learners, employers, tutors and assessors who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships and Apprenticeship programmes.
Having completed a Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Administration, delivered by Acorn Learning Solutions, in April, Joe has progressed to an Apprenticeship and continues to successfully tackle any challenges along the way.
Joe said: “The apprenticeship has helped to raise my confidence levels to be able to achieve my goals and overcome more challenging work. I am always looking to develop and improve my skills and knowledge, whether that be through formal qualifications, work based learning or home learning.”
Alun Thomas, Vale Europe Ltd’s purchasing manager, predicted a bright future for Joe and praised his thirst for knowledge and sound analytical, problem-solving and time management skills which have led to his “meteoric rise”.
Praising the standard of applicants this year and congratulating Joe on being shortlisted for an award, Skills and Science Minister, Julie James said: “This year’s shortlisted entrants include exceptional individuals who have excelled in their workplace and learning providers and employers that have gone the extra mile to support the apprentices they are working with. Their stories never cease to amaze and inspire.
“Apprenticeships and vocational skills training are essential ingredients of economic success and vital tools in building a stronger, fairer and more equal Wales.
“These awards provide a perfect platform to celebrate success and reward the hard work and dedication of learners, employers and training providers across Wales. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the night.”