Only the best good enough for awards finalist the Celtic Manor Resort

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Michael Pagnotta (front), head of learning and development in the Celtic Manor Resort, with some of the apprentices from across the business.

Michael Pagnotta (front), head of learning and development in the Celtic Manor Resort, with some of the apprentices from across the business.

One of Wales’ premier golf, spa and leisure hotels has been shortlisted for one of the awards at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2015 ceremony, which the business is hosting.

The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport is one of three finalists in the Large Employer of the Year category at the high profile awards on Thursday, October 29.

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

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and media partner is Media Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme, led by the Welsh Government, is supported by the European Social Fund.

The Celtic Manor Resort, which hosted the NATO Summit last year and the Ryder Cup in 2010, needs to ensure it provides customers with the best experience possible by employing and training the best staff.

Through its learning and development programme, the resort aims to become a recognised training centre for the hospitality sector, with Apprenticeships playing a major role. A dedicated head of learning and development, Michael Pagnotta, was appointed in 2014 along with a learning and development team to oversee training for the 850 employees.

They created a Talent Management Route to allow employees to up-skill themselves and achieve recognised qualifications. The Apprenticeship programme is part of this, with 100 apprentices currently employed, 45 having been taken on in the past year and 250 in the past five years.

As a result of the programme, 33 per cent of employees recognise the benefit of Apprenticeships for career development. Last year, staff completing an Apprenticeship increased by 30 per cent as a result in the strengthening of the training and learning options available.

“We started to work with multiple Apprenticeship providers in order to ensure all staff from across the nine business functions were included, linking to the business’s strong belief in promoting inclusion, equality and diversity,” said Mr Pagnotta.

The resort appointed Babcock Training, Cambrian Training Company and ACT Limited as its providers to deliver a wide range of Apprenticeship frameworks.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Julie James congratulated The Celtic Manor Resort and the other 36 award finalists. “We have some truly exceptional apprentices here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements,” she said.

“Equally important are the training providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their apprentices. Developing skilled young people is vital for our economy. The Welsh Government is committed to training programmes such as Apprenticeships but investment must be a shared responsibility with the education sector, businesses and individuals.”

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