Finalists Named for Prestigious Welsh Awards

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Richard Wilkins, 21 from Acrefair. an apprentice with Broughton based aerospace Airbus, collected the Apprentice of the Year award at last year's ceremony

Thirty-eight learners, employers and training providers from across Wales have been selected as finalists for this year’s prestigious National Training and Apprenticeship Cymru Awards.

The awards, organised jointly by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), are designed to recognise the outstanding achievements of all those involved in Investors in People, Apprenticeship and all other work-based learning programmes across Wales.

The entries will culminate in a high profile awards presentation ceremony at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Wednesday, October 24, which will be attended by around 250 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales. The awards are sponsored by Pearson, City & Guilds and Media Wales.

Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said: “These awards recognise excellence by individuals, employers and learning providers in delivering training. I am delighted with the standard of this year’s finalists and the variety across all ages and sectors, which shows the strength of the skills being delivered in Wales.

“All the finalists have an inspiring story to tell and are great ambassadors for apprenticeship and other programmes in Wales.

“The skills acquired through programmes, such as Apprenticeships, provide great benefits to individuals and employers, helping make Welsh businesses more competitive. That is why this Welsh Government is committed to supporting businesses that want to take on apprentices

“I want to increase the number of businesses and young people who are able to benefit from the apprenticeships in Wales. Hopefully these awards and the stories of the finalists will demonstrate the benefits of higher level skills to individuals and businesses.”

The National Training and Apprenticeship Cymru Awards reward individuals, employers and learning providers who have excelled in contributing to the development of the skills of their workforce.

The awards aim to showcase and celebrate the achievements of those who have exceeded expectations, shown a dynamic approach to training and demonstrated initiative and enterprise, innovation and creativity and a commitment to the improvement of skills development for the Welsh economy.

National Training and Apprenticeship Awards Cymru this year have different categories for learners, employers and learning providers. Newcomers are the employability awards, which include Traineeship learner of the year and a Steps to Employment learner of the year.

The full list of National Training Awards finalists is: Small employer: Anthony A. Davies Group, Abergavenny; Staedler (UK) Ltd, Pencoed, Bridgend and COASTALs E3 Project, Swansea. Medium employer: Utility Partnership Ltd Cardiff and TRB Limited, St Asaph. Large employer: Penaf Housing Group, St Asaph; RCT Homes, Pontypridd and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Carmarthen.

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru finalists are: Apprentices and Entrepreneurial Apprentice of the Year: Bryn Arfon Jones, Magnox Wylfa Power Station, Anglesey; Rhian Grace Perrin, Airbus UK, Broughton; Steven Owen, The Bull and Heifer, Bettws Cedewain, Newtown and Gavin Zembrzuski, Off Road Only Ltd, Llandrindod Wells. Foundation Apprentice of the Year: Benjamin Williams, North Wales Golf Club, Conwy; Nik Petrakis, Vanilla Rooms, Cardiff and Ryan McAnerney, Airbus UK, Broughton.

Steps to employment learner of the year: Alison John, ITEC Training Solutions Ltd, Bryncethin; Katrina Kind, North Wales Training, Colwyn Bay and Robert Owen Jones, Wrexham ITeC. Traineeship learner of the year (engagement): Natasha Fenton, Pathways Training, Neath; Kirsty Bird, ACT Training, Cardiff and Owen Edwards, ACT Training, Cardiff. Traineeship level one learner of the year: Alex Dawe, ACT Training, Cardiff; Dale Price, Powys Training, Llandrindod Wells and Katie Roberts, Wrexham IteC.

Finalists in the employer of the year sections are: Head Office, Barry; Phoenix Hair and Make up, Abergele; Eastern Leisure Centre, Cardiff; DRB Group, Deeside; Cefndy Healthcare, Rhyl; Tritech Precision Products, Wrexham; GE Aviation Wales, Nantgarw; Newport City Homes, Newport; S. A. Brain and Co Ltd, Cardiff and BT.

Apprenticeship provider of the year: ISA Training, Pencoed, Bridgend; Babcock International Group, Cardiff and Cambrian Training Company, Welshpool.

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru judges were Alison Merrifield, SSC Alliance, Essex Havard, NIACE Dysgu Cymru; Judith Cook, Pearson; Simon Farrington, Media Wales; Leon Patnett, Careers Wales; Andrew Dodge, NTfW and Sam Huckle, Welsh Government.

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