Young chef wins national award on home territory
A young chef from Newport who works at the Celtic Manor Resort has won a prestigious national award.
Dominic Evans, 18, was named Traineeship Learner of the Year for Engagement at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2013, organised jointly by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). The high profile awards ceremony was held on home territory for Dominic at the Celtic Manor Resort.
His reaction to winning the award: “Brilliant, I just can’t believe it. This award is going to give me a massive confidence boost for the future.”
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.
Dominic excelled in his GCSEs but decided to leave school after a year of sixth form and was offered a Traineeship with ITEC as a stepping-stone to more qualifications and a job.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I was very shy,” he said. “As part of the Traineeship I went on a work placement in the kitchens at the Celtic Manor Resort. I absolutely loved it, worked very hard and I didn’t miss a single day during my six-month placement, which resulted in my being offered an apprenticeship.”
Dominic is now a trainee chef, working with the Olive Tree Restaurant kitchen team, which cooks up to 700 buffet breakfasts every day.
“I have a brilliant job and I’m always learning something new. There is no way I could have done this without going through the Traineeship and I am very grateful,” said Dominic.
“I work hard because I know that this is my big chance and I’m not going to waste it.”
Dominic will soon start his Level 2 in Food Hygiene and is also taking part in the Celtic Manor’s own in-house training programmes.
Joel Williams from ITEC said: “Dominic was a very shy, quiet personality when he joined us but his confidence is going from strength to strength. All who have come into contact with Dominic admire his determination to succeed and speak highly of him.”
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.