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Cardiff and Vale College student William Davies has been awarded the title Ford Panel Apprentice of the Year.

The Apprentice of the Year awards is one of the biggest dates in Ford UK’s calendar and is hosted by Skillnet at the Henry Ford Academy in Daventry. The motor manufacturing giant’s best young trainees compete in a range of tasks in front of judges.

The awards are designed to celebrate the success and achievements of apprentices from a range of disciplines at all levels. The event also celebrates the dealers that employ them and provide the support necessary for apprentices to thrive and qualify in their chosen field.

William is employed by Ford dealer DG Weaver in Rhondda. The 17-year-old from Treorchy said: “I was really happy and pleased to win the Ford Panel Apprentice of the Year. I didn’t even expect to get nominated so it was a real surprise.

“I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship. I’ve always been interested in cars and I knew it was something I wanted to do. From a young age I knew I wanted to work in a body shop and this apprenticeship is really helping to do that – I also enjoy my time in the College.

“If I didn’t have this apprenticeship I don’t think I’d have been able to go into what I want to do. I wouldn’t have been able to go into panel beating which is something I really wanted to do.

“I would definitely recommend apprenticeships. I didn’t like school as much as some other people do – I got some qualifications but only GCSEs because I didn’t want to stay on do A Levels. I decided to do an apprenticeship instead of A Levels and I’m really glad I did.”

DG Weaver Director Jonathan Weaver said: “Since day one it was clear that Will had the aptitude and receptiveness that we look for in an apprentice, whether it be for the bodyshop, sales department or workshop. It is often difficult to gauge the progress of an apprentice but in Will’s case our Skillnet assessor said that Will was the best body apprentice he had ever seen and he strongly encourage us to nominate him for Apprentice of the Year.

“The members of staff who work closely with Will couldn’t praise him enough and are particularly impressed with his ability to take instruction and then work independently. He isn’t afraid to challenge himself.

“DG Weaver Ltd has had success with the Ford Apprenticeship Awards in the past and we are ever so proud that Will’s performance has been recognised at a national level. More than anything I hope he is proud of himself as he is well liked and we are thrilled for him. There is nobody more deserving.”

CAVC apprentices have won Ford Apprentice of the Year Awards for the last two years running. Last year Charlotte Ward won Ford Apprentice of the Year for Body Repair and Paint.

Cardiff and Vale College Deputy Principal Sharon James said: “Congratulations to William – we’re all really proud of him. Winning Ford Apprentice of the Year is a fantastic testament to William’s hard work and determination, and to all the support he has received from lecturers to train him up to this standard.”

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