Newport Training Provider in line for Apprenticeships Awards

Posted on by karen.smith

Sarah John (right), Acorn’s commercial director and Helena Williams (left), corporate development director

Newport-based training provider Acorn Learning Solutions Ltd’s reputation for innovation and delivering learning and development solutions that add real value to apprentices and employers has gained national recognition.

The company has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award that recognises the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality apprenticeships across Wales.

Acorn is one of 19 finalists in six categories of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation Wales (NTfW). Welsh Government apprenticeship programmes are part funded by the European Social Fund.

The company is contesting the Apprenticeship Provider of the Year award against Cambrian Training Company, Welshpool and Pembrokeshire College.

The winners will be announced at a high profile presentation ceremony at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel, Cardiff on Wednesday. November 16. Main sponsor of the awards, which aim to showcase excellence in skills development in Wales, is Pearson and media partner for the event is Media Wales.

From the outset, through employer engagement and learner involvement, Acorn’s focus is to deliver a high quality, valuable learning experience that benefits both the learner and employer.

Apprenticeships are delivered in a number of sectors, including insurance and banking, management, customer service, administration, retailing, warehousing and distribution, learning and development, IT, manufacturing, hospitality, engineering and contact centre.

The company has trained 4,386 apprentices over the past five years and currently has 1,214 on a programme. Bespoke and customised apprenticeships are delivered to a wide range of employers, including Little Inspirations, Cassidian, Leading Edge Group, Vale of Glamorgan Council, Peacocks, DAS and Zurich.

“The development of bespoke/customised apprenticeship programmes for employers utilise a mixture of delivery partners and ensure that both the learner and employer receive the most suitable and appropriate training and that the required outcomes are met,” explained Sarah John, Acorn’s commercial director.

The company is committed to the continued development of its training delivery solutions, taking an innovative approach to industry requirements, investing heavily in technology to improve and enhance the learning experience.

Some of Acorn’s sector leading work includes the development of a new pilot for Higher Education Credits at Level 4 in year 12 with Cardiff Business School and progression opportunities for apprentices into higher education learning through Universities Heads of the Valleys Institute (UHOVI).

The other Apprenticeship Awards Cymru categories are: Foundation Apprentice of the Year, Apprentice of the Year, Medium Employer of the Year and Large Employer of the Year. Around 250 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

Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said: “I have been encouraged by the extremely high standard of this year’s finalists and the variety across all ages and sectors, which shows the strength of apprenticeship delivery in Wales.

“Irrespective of whether or not they collect an award, the 19 finalists are all winners. Each has an inspiring story to tell, making them true ambassadors for apprenticeship programmes in Wales.

“The Welsh Government is committed to creating more apprenticeship opportunities for young people in Wales and continuing to support employers who are willing to offer high quality apprenticeship places.”

The NTfW is a network of 90 quality assured learning providers, which has links to 35,000 employers across Wales.

President Lord Ted Rowlands said: “Apprenticeship Awards Cymru showcases and celebrates the achievements of those who have exceeded expectations, shown a dynamic approach to training, demonstrated initiative and enterprise, innovation and creativity and shown an understanding and commitment to the improvement of skills development for the Welsh economy.”

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