Aron and his employer reap the rewards of his career dedication

Posted on by karen.smith

Apprentice Aron Jones, who has achieved his dream of becoming an electrical engineer through dedication and hard work, has been shortlisted for a prestigious Apprentice of the Year award in Wales.

Aron, 20, from Blaenau Ffestiniog, is one of 36 finalists in 13 categories of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2013, organised jointly by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW).

Aron Wyn Jones, rewarded for dedication and hard work.

The awards recognise the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality apprenticeships and other work-based learning programmes across Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with the support of the European Social Fund.

The winners will be announced at a high profile awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Friday, October 18.

Aron is now rewarding his bosses by helping them to save money by improving the maintenance and efficiency monitoring of electrical equipment and appliances in the plant.

He was named Coleg Menai’s Mechanical Apprentice of the Year and overall Apprentice of the Year in 2013. If he is named Apprentice of the Year at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, he plans to dedicate the accolade to first apprenticeship assessor, who died last year and is his inspiration.

Following a work experience placement at Rehau Ltd at Tanygrisiau in 2008, Aron set his heart on working for the global polymer processing company.

He spent every school and college holiday at the company, gaining hands-on experience in the electrical department and was rewarded in 2010 with a three-year apprenticeship, which he completed this year.

He now hopes to progress to an incorporated engineer and become a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) apprentice ambassador.

At his suggestion, the company invested in a thermal image camera to identify and predict faults in electrical panels and motors before they happen, thereby eliminating costly production problems. Other ideas have reduced energy costs and extended the life of machines.

“I enjoy what I do as a trade and wouldn’t change it for any other job,” he said. “During my apprenticeship I’ve worked hard and shown a dynamic approach to training and demonstrated initiative, enterprise, innovation and creativity.”

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates said: “The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru remind us of the incredible wealth of talent that Wales has to offer and the outstanding achievements of Wales’ learners, employers and learning providers.

“Apprenticeships play an integral role in our economy. Not only do they provide essential skills and qualifications, but are in themselves life-changing opportunities for young people and, for employers, a major investment that’s paying real dividend to their bottom line and in the skills of their workforce.

“We know that apprenticeships deliver real business benefits and that’s why the Welsh Government, with support from the European Social Fund, continues to invest heavily in opportunities for young people to take up apprenticeships and continues to support employers who want to invest in the future of their workforce.

“Through their passion and dedication, the finalists announced at this year’s awards will inspire countless others to strive for excellence and demonstrate the tremendous impact that vocational training can have. I wish all of our finalists the very best as they continue to make great contributions in their chosen fields.”

The other Apprentice of the Year finalists are April Davies from Dolfor, Newtown, who works for a farm and ice cream business and Emma Brooks, a children’s nursery worker from Llandrindod Wells.

Showcasing excellence in skills development in Wales, the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC with support from media partner, Media Wales.

More than 300 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales are expected to attend the high profile awards ceremony, where guests will dine out with chefs from the Welsh National Culinary Team.

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