Four Coleg y Cymoedd learners have made the shortlist for national awards aimed at celebrating the most promising and talented apprentices in Wales.
William Davies, Bethany Mason, Connor Paskell and Sophie Williams have all made the shortlist for this yearâ€™s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which recognises the hard work and achievements of individuals and organisations involved in apprenticeship programmes in Wales.
Organised by Welsh Government and the National Training Federation Wales (NTfW), the awards recognise the contribution of all those who have played a key role in Welsh Governmentâ€™s Employability and Apprenticeship programmes, with separate categories for individuals, learning providers, and employers.
First up representing Coleg y Cymoedd is twenty-year-old William Davies, from Aberdare, who has been nominated for the Apprentice of the Year category after impressing his employers at Kautex Textron CVS Ltd in Ystrad Mynach. Since joining the firm in 2018, William has already saved Kautex Â£20,000 a year on labour costs by automating a product assembly system. He has also been instrumental in implementing numerous health and safety and productivity improvements as well as managing a project to renovate and make a canteen Covid-secure.
The aspiring chartered engineer has made just as big an impression at college, winning Coleg y Cymoeddâ€™s Apprentice of the Year award two years in a row. He also achieved his Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture (Engineering Technical Support) six months ahead of schedule as a result of his determination and dedication.
Business learner, Sophie Williams, 24, from Hirwaun, has made the shortlist for the Tomorrowâ€™s Talent award which sees employers nominate a current apprentice that has made a tangible positive impact on their organisationâ€™s performance. Originally wanting to pursue a teaching career, Sophieâ€™s plans changed after witnessing her mum become a foster parent, which inspired her to become a qualified social worker.
After graduating from Swansea University with a degree in French and Spanish, Sophie joined Coleg y Cymoed to complete an Apprenticeship in business administration, while working at Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Councilâ€™s foster service. Â She has made a lasting impact on the team and was recently promoted to regional recruitment officer. Â
Also in the running for the Tomorrowâ€™s Talent award is Connor Paskell, 21, from Llantrisant, who is currently nearing the end of a three-year engineering apprenticeship with Coleg y Cymoedd. Joining Llantrisant-based British Airways Avionic Engineering (BAAE) as an apprentice avionic engineer in 2018, he is due to complete his apprenticeship at the end of May 2021.
With a string of qualifications already under his belt, including an Apprenticeship in Electrical Engineering, Connor has continued to develop his skills and technical knowledge which have helped him to improve the efficiency of various maintenance practices at BAAE, saving the business hundreds of thousands of pounds.
And, last but not least, Bethany Mason, 21, from Llantrisant, has been nominated for the Foundation Apprentice of the Year award. Bethany is currently working towards an NVQ level 3 in Business Administration while working as an apprentice at Glyntaff Crematorium. She has been an invaluable addition to the team, adapting to numerous challenges and helping to improve the smooth running of the crematorium by digitising and centralising burial records and cemetery plans. She has also been responsible for introducing a digital portal to access music for family cremation services, along with webcasts and visual tributes, which have been important for funerals held during the pandemic restrictions, helping to bring comfort to people during the hardest of times. Â
The 2021 Apprenticeship Awards Cymru is being held virtually on the evening of Thursday 29 April 2021. We wish all of our learners involved the very best of luck!
Rhondda Cynon Taff