College apprenticeship programme goes from strength to strength

Posted on by karen.smith

Deeside College is continuing to secure employment opportunities for apprentices in North Wales by working with even more companies in the region through its award-winning apprentice programme.

After winning the Modern Apprenticeship Provider Award at the 2009 Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, the college’s commitment to apprentice training has gone from strength to strength.

“We’re very proud of our apprentice programme here at Deeside College. It’s helped hundreds of individuals to develop their skills and training with a range of small, medium and large businesses in the area,” said Vicky Barwis, Head of Marketing, Admissions and External Funding.

“Since winning the 2009 Apprenticeship Awards Cymru award we have strengthened our programme and built additional links with industry, working with companies such as Qioptic, SCA, Kronospan and, most recently, Dailycer.

“This is in addition to working with our existing business partners, including UPM Shotton Paper, Airbus, Hawker Beechcraft, Abakhan and Flintshire County Council. We’d urge businesses involved in apprenticeships to enter this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru to demonstrate their importance and value to businesses.”

Last year Deeside apprentice Stephanie Lomax scooped the the VQ Under 25 Learner of the Year. Deeside Apprentices also won the Silver Award for Avionic Engineers World Skills Competition and the National Lion Award for FE Sector Learner of the Year 2011.

The 2011 Apprenticeship Awards Cymru takes place in Cardiff on 16th November and entries for the competition must be submitted by 12noon on Wednesday, 28th September. The awards are organised by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) in partnership with the Welsh Government and sponsored by Pearson.

Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said: “It is very encouraging to see examples of companies benefiting from apprenticeship programmes. Apprenticeship Awards Cymru is about showcasing such successes and encouraging more businesses to take on apprentices.

“The Welsh Government is committed to creating more apprenticeship opportunities for young people in Wales and continue to support employers who are willing to offer high quality apprenticeship places. Our Young Recruits Programme supports employers to recruit and train additional young apprentices – 16-24 year olds. This programme has been instrumental in sustaining employer confidence in apprenticeship recruitment.”

The awards, which are free to enter, are split into eight categories: Foundation Apprentice of the Year, Apprentice of the Year, Young Apprentice of the Year,
Entrepreneurial Apprentice of the Year, Employer of the Year, Medium Employer (10-49 employees) of the Year, Large Employer (50+ employees) of the Year and Apprenticeship Provider of the Year.

From the applications, three finalists will be selected in each category by a distinguished panel of judges. The finalists must be available for filming between October 19 and November 4.

Around 250 stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales are expected to attend the high profile awards ceremony at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel.

“It is widely recognised that apprenticeships combine the key elements of work experience and high quality training, which are necessary for sustained employment and high productivity, both of which are required if Welsh businesses are to compete in the ever changing global economy,” said Arwyn Watkins, NTfW chairman.

The awards are being held on the eve of the NTfW’s Annual Conference, also at Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel, on 17th November. This year’s conference theme, ‘Standing up for Skills’, focuses on the benefits and value of vocational skills and training in working with businesses to deliver for Wales. Further information can be accessed at

Keynote speakers will include the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert AM.

For more details about the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru and to download an application form, visit

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