Expanding company named Wales’ Large Employer of the Year

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Nigel Hyde (right), training co-ordinator at Mabey Bridge Ltd and Andy Sutton, training manager, with the Large Employer of the Year award.

Increasing self-confidence so that apprentices can make an active contribution to the development and success of the business has resulted in Chepstow company Mabey Bridge business winning a prestigious national award.

The company was named Large Employer of the Year award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2013, organised jointly by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). The awards ceremony was held at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport.

Andy Sutton, training manager, praised the “superb standard” of the finalists and said: “This award is recognition of all the hard work that goes in across the business from the managers through to the apprentices. Their success has put Mabey Bridge where it is today.”

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.

Mabey Bridge Ltd is one of the world’s leading specialist suppliers of quality steel bridging, infrastructure, wind turbine towers and heavy plated structural steelwork, employing over 600 people. It launched its apprenticeship programme eight years ago to ensure a steady supply of fabricators into the business.

With increasing demand for fabricators and welders within the business, the company expanded its training programme after finding it increasingly difficult in recent years to recruit qualified quality technicians and industrial painters.

“Our expectation is that the apprentices will not only meet these business needs but will go on and develop into the managers and professional engineers of the future, so securing the long-term reputation of the company,” said Mr Sutton.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates said: “The Apprenticeship Awards allow us to celebrate the range of skills that our young people have to offer as well as the dedication shown by employers and training providers and I’d like to congratulate all of the worthy winners.

“It was a real pleasure to meet such hard-working and ambitious young people who have all achieved so much, as well as the employers and training providers who have gone that extra mile in supporting young people to fulfil their potential. They are all a credit to themselves and an inspiration to others.

“Our recent budget announcement has confirmed an additional £12.5 million to extend our Jobs Growth Wales programme for a fourth year. This means that we can create more than 4,000 extra job opportunities for 16-24 year olds in 2015-16. The Welsh Government will also be investing a further £20 million in 2015-16 to support apprenticeships. This is excellent news for our young people and our employers and will allow us to make a real difference.”

Showcasing excellence in skills development in Wales, the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC with support from media partner, Media Wales. Award Sponsors are Leadership & Management Wales and ACT Training.

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