Winning employers and learners celebrate at learning provider’s awards
Award winners and finalists pictured with Cambrian Training’s managing director Arwyn Watkins, OBE

Employers and learners who have excelled in apprenticeship, skills and employment training programmes delivered by one of Wales’ top work-based learning providers celebrated success at an annual awards ceremony.

Cambrian Training presented its annual Apprenticeship, Employment and Skills Awards at the International Pavilion on the Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd.

To be nominated for the awards, employers and learners must be engaged with programmes delivered for the Welsh Government by the company, which has offices in Welshpool, Holyhead, Colwyn Bay and Llanelli and Builth Wells.

Held for the fourth time, the awards are designed to celebrate all that is great about training, apprenticeships and skills in Wales. The shortlisted finalists demonstrated the talent pool and range of work-based learning programmes available.

Foundation Apprentice of the Year was Bethany Morgan, 17, a hotel and hospitality apprentice who is now working at ICC Wales, Newport. Apprentice of the Year was mother-of-five Emma Hooper, 36, chief steward at Beachley Barracks, Chepstow for Compass Group PLC – ESS Defence.

Paul Whiffen, 38, syrup room manager at Radnor Hills, Knighton, collected the Higher Apprentice of the Year Award, while Sasha Jones, 20, keyholder at Nags Head Inn, Garthmyl, was named the Outstanding Individual of the Year.

In the Employer Apprenticeship Engagement section, the Micro Employer Award went to Thomas Skip and Plant Hire Ltd, Caernarfon and the Small Employer Award was presented to The Harbourmaster Hotel, Aberaeron. The Medium Employer Award went to Tiny Rebel, Rogerstone, Newport and the Large Employer Award was collected by Bronglais General Hospital, Aberystwyth.

Winners of some categories will have the chance to go forward to the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which are jointly organised by the National Training Federation for Wales and the Welsh Government, in November.

Shortlisted finalists were Foundation Apprentice, Apprentice and Higher Apprentice of the Year, Daniel Carlo, 38, recycling advisor for Bryson Recycling, Conwy; Yasmin Dewse, 28, a chef at Aberystwyth Arts Centre; Daniel Allen, 26, head chef at Clockworks (Marstons), Swansea and Lorna Morris, 46, owner of Beyond Breakout, Newtown. Outstanding Individual of the Year, Chris Evans, 26, waste/recycling operative in Ruthin for Denbighshire County Council.

Shortlisted finalists for the Micro, Small, Medium and Large Employer Apprenticeship Engagement of the Year awards were: Happy Horse Retirement Home, Crai, Brecon; A. J. Rees & Sons Ltd (Andrew Rees Butchers), Narberth and Parry & Evans Limited, Welshpool and Deeside.

“Our awards reward individuals and employers who have excelled in their apprenticeship learning and training programmes that we deliver on behalf of the Welsh Government,” said Katy Godsell, Cambrian Training’s marketing manager.

“They celebrate the achievements of those who have shown a unique approach to apprenticeship training and development and demonstrated initiative and enterprise, innovation and creativity.”

Arwyn Watkins, OBE, Cambrian Training’s managing director, said the company worked in partnership with excellent employers to deliver apprenticeships, skills and employment training programmes for the Welsh Government across the whole of Wales.

“If you are thinking of taking on an apprentice for the first time, you will not regret it because he or she will add value to your business,” he added.

He revealed that the latest figures released by the Welsh Government revealed that Cambrian Training, which is 25 years old this year, is the top learning provider in Wales delivering Higher Apprenticeships and fourth for all apprenticeships.

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.