Connor Paskell, saving BAAE time and money.

 Apprentice Connor Paskell’s career has taken off since joining British Airways Avionic Engineering (BAAE) in Llantrisant

Connor, 21, who lives in Llantrisant, was determined to pursue a career in engineering, but having failed to find a suitable opportunity began working in a children’s day nursery.

Keen to pursue his dream career, Connor enrolled on a full-time engineering course at Coleg y Cymoedd whilst continuing to work part-time at the nursery. His commitment paid off, completing a BTEC Enhanced Engineering qualification with a distinction and winning the college’s Engineering Apprentice of the Year Award.

Connor joined BAAE in 2018 and is due to complete his apprenticeship as an avionic engineer this August. Having achieved a string of qualifications, including an Apprenticeship in Electrical Engineering, he hopes to progress to a HNC following the Covid-19 pandemic.

In recognition of his successful learning journey, Connor has been shortlisted for the Tomorrow’s Talent award at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021.

This annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships will see 35 finalists compete in 12 categories for awards. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on April 29.

Highlight of the work-based learning calendar, the awards showcase businesses and individuals who have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes and gone the extra mile to achieve success during these unprecedented times.

The awards are jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Openreach, the UK’s digital network business and passionate supporter of apprenticeships, has renewed its headline sponsorship of the awards.

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

Connor helps to test, repair and overhaul different units and equipment fitted to aircraft and has developed a passion for projects, including harvesting working components worth more than £1 million from previously used units.

He also has the distinction of having worked on the last ever engine bolt kit for a British Airways 747 before the aircraft was taken out of service last year.

A mentor to other apprentices, Connor is looking forward to continuing his learning journey when BAAE and British Airways Interiors Engineering relocate to British Airways Maintenance Cardiff.

“I enjoy finding ways to save the company time and money and am committed to continuing to push myself to learn new things and build from the platform that my apprenticeship and BA have given me,” he said.

“Overcoming shyness has allowed me to shine and express my ideas for improving efficiency, working practices and culture within BAAE, as well as contributing towards achieving its goals.”

Martine Roles, human resources manager for BAAE in Llantrisant, said: “Connor has become an integral part of the business throughout his apprenticeship and the sought-after person for project work. He consistently strives for perfection and achieves it.”

Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said: “Our Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes are helping people fulfil their career ambitions and I’m delighted we have already reached our target of creating 100,000 apprenticeships in this Senedd term. 

“This has been key in helping apprentices of all ages to gain important skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need. This will be vital as we emerge from the pandemic.

“Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of all involved, from star apprentices to skilled learning providers.

“I’d like to congratulate all the finalists announced for this year's event and wish each and every one all the best for the future.”

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