West Wales finalists compete at Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022

West Wales is represented by three finalists at this year’s prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022, the winners of which will be announced at a virtual ceremony on November 10.

Highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, the awards are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) and headline sponsor Openreach.

The awards highlight the outstanding achievements, during unprecedented times, of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners. Twenty-three finalists will contest nine award categories.

Talented West Wales joiner Dion Evans, an Apprentice of the Year finalist, is enjoying a memorable year as he looks forward to representing Wales in the national finals of the WorldSkills UK competition in November.

Dion, who works for Alwyn Evans Ltd in his home village of Talgarreg, Llandysul, won a gold medal to qualify for the final of the joinery competition in Edinburgh, having won a bronze medal last year.

Having achieved a City & Guilds Apprenticeship in Bench Joinery from Coleg Ceredigion and Coleg Sir Gâr, Dion is making a positive contribution to his employer. Workload and profits have risen by 20 per cent as Alwyn has been freed up to take on more work, including making bespoke cabinets and staircases.

Tailoring bespoke training models to plug the widening skills gap in the construction industry has led to Swansea-based Persimmon Homes West Wales, a Large and Macro Employer of the Year finalist, creating its own careers pathway.

Around 150 new job opportunities have been created by company, both for apprentices starting out on their careers and also for those looking to retrain and enter the construction sector.

In partnership with Bridgend College, the company’s organic growth of in-house resource and career progression opportunities is helping to recruit and retain the very best local talent.

Learners of all ages can find an entry point to forge a career through transparent apprenticeship opportunities, from trades at Levels 2 and 3 through to a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Site Management.

Launching a new business at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic has turned out to be a great decision for a Carmarthen-based day care provider Willow Daycare, a Small and Medium Employer of the Year finalist.

Rebecca Davies launched business in the grounds of Glangwili General Hospital, recognising that there was a desperate shortage of childcare support, particularly for the NHS staff.

After beginning with a strong onus on training staff through apprenticeships, the business has increased the number of children attending from seven at inception to 130 a year later and now has 20 employees.

Willow Daycare offers Apprenticeships in Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development from Levels 2-5 as well as Playwork Level 3, delivered by TSW Training.

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund. For more information about recruiting an apprentice, visit: https://gov.wales/apprenticeships-genius-decision or call 03000 603000.

Picture caption:

Regional quality director Carl Davey with some of the apprentices at Persimmon Homes West Wales, Large and Macro Employer of the Year finalist.