Pictures: Peter Price Media

Gower College Swansea has held a special awards ceremony for apprentices and employers.

The event, hosted by BBC Wales Scrum V Live’s Ross Harries, was held to honour the outstanding commitment and dedication of the ‘best of the best’.

Among the award winners were learners who have completed apprenticeships in a range of disciplines from Level 2 right through to Level 5. Indeed, one of the evening’s winners – Cory Allen – is the first learner to begin a degree apprenticeship at the College.

Many have overcome significant barriers to achieve success, further their careers and make a significant contribution to their employer and the wider economy.

“Listening to some of the backstories of tonight’s winners highlights once again that, whilst undertaking an apprenticeship requires a great deal of commitment, the rewards are significant,” says the College’s Director of Skills and Business Development, Paul Kift. “Apprenticeships can last between one and four years and, during this time, the learner will often be juggling work, training, study and home life in order to develop their skills and knowledge. We feel it is really important to recognise these fantastic success stories.”

“One of the key roles of any college of Further Education is to support our local employers and, with the demand for apprenticeships having increased significantly in recent years, I am delighted we have been able to respond to this demand and produce the high quality of apprentices that we are meeting this evening,” says Principal Mark Jones.

The complete list of winners on the evening were:

Accountancy – Nigel Williams (DVLA)                                           
Better Jobs, Better Futures – Jacob Davies (SBUHB)                           
Bricklaying – Rhys Barrow (Swansea Council)                             
Business Administration – Laura Hurford (Welsh Ambulance Service)
Business Improvement Techniques – Paul Davies (DecTek)                
Carpentry – Kyle Freeman (Swansea Council)
Childcare – Barbara Smith (The Childrens Room)
Contact Centre – Christine Hutchins (DVSA)                                         
Construction Operations – James Gethin (WDL)
Customer Service – Justine Beresford (Tai Tarian)                               
Electrical Apprentice – Jordan Johnstone (Gavin Electrical Engineering)
Electronics – Richard Kostromin (One Vision)                                       
Engineering – Cory Allen (Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems)
Facilities Management – Marika Jones (Jones Lang LaSalle)
Hairdressing – Courtney Williams (Dash Hair Design)                
Health and Social Care – Kyle Coleman (Norton Lodge Day Service)
Housing – Danielle Humphries (Merthyr Valleys Homes)
Information, Advice and Guidance – Sarah Emery (SBUHB)               
IT – Elizabeth McSloy (All Wales Ambulance Service)
Laboratory and Science – Hywel Cleaves (Tata Steel)      
Leadership and Management – Sarah Grabham (The Wallich)  
Motor Vehicle – Matthew Evans (Cawdor Cars)                 
Painting and Decorating – Adam Williams (Martyn Morgan)
Plumbing – Daniel Rees (GR Plumbing and Heating)                          
Security – Thomas Pearce (CCTV Wales)
Foundation Apprentice of the Year - Linda James (Linc Cymru)             
Apprentice of the Year - Oliver Degay (RJD Building and Plumbing)
Higher Apprentice of the Year - Hywel Cleaves (Tata Steel)                     
Apprenticeship Innovation Award - DVLA User Experience Team
Apprenticeship Employer Exceptional Achievement Award - SBUHB
Exceptional Achievement Award - Cheradine Jones (Pobl Group)      
Apprenticeship Tutor/Assessor – Amy Herbert (Gower College Swansea)          

Of course, without employers there would be no apprentices and so three special awards were also given out to local organisations in recognition of the excellent support they provide and for the investment they make in developing the skills of new and existing talent.

Apprentice Employer (0-49 employees) – Bro Myrddin Housing Association           
Apprentice Employer (50-249 employees) - Newydd Housing Association        
Apprentice Employer (250+ employees) - Natural Resources Wales              

Many thanks to the following departments who helped make the event such a success:

  • Our Hospitality and Catering students, led by Nicola Rees, for the wonderful buffet and refreshments
  • The Gorseinon Campus Jazz Band, led by Simon Prothero, for providing the arrival entertainment
  • Our Level 3 Theatre Production and Live Events students, led by Adrian Hocking, for their sterling work on the set, lighting and sound
  • Our Welsh singing trio – Catherine Phillips, Megan Haf Lewis and Denise Agudilla - for the opening musical performance.

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