From education to employment

Award finalist Ciara paving the way in civil engineering

Ciara Lynch – “apprenticeships are brilliant”.

Higher Apprentice Ciara Lynch is making a name for herself in the construction and civil engineering sector, thanks to her outstanding work as an assistant technician with Swansea Council.

Ciara, 22, from Morriston, Swansea, has achieved a HNC in Construction and the Built Environment and a Higher Apprenticeship Level 4 in Construction Site Supervision at Bridgend College. She has now begun a Degree in Civil Engineering.

Having received an Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Quest Scholarship, she aims to develop a professional accreditation at technician level and ultimately become a  Chartered Civil Engineer.

A science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) ambassador, Ciara is keen to promote the benefits of an apprenticeship, highlighting opportunities for women in an industry that actively encourages diversity.

Now Ciara has been shortlisted for the Higher Apprentice of the Year 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.

Working closely with different teams within the council, Ciara has gained valuable experience, skills and knowledge.

Ciara supported the council’s successful bid for £2.1 million funding from the Welsh Government’s Active Travel Programme, improving the infrastructure in Swansea to encourage cycling and walking.

She engaged with schools, cycling and walking groups, communities and contractors to promote projects tailored to community need, which was recognised by a Construction Excellence Wales (CEW) Award for Value. Ciara was also shortlisted for the CEW Apprentice of the Year Award.

Ciara said: “At every stage of my apprenticeship I have grasped the opportunities offered to me by my employer to develop and broaden my knowledge.

“I think apprenticeships are brilliant because you get the chance to combine the experience and skills of the workplace with the knowledge gained at college and university.”

David Hughes, City and County of Swansea’s principal engineer, said Ciara is an exemplary role model who illustrates how beneficial employing young, keen and talented apprentices is to employers in Wales.

“Ciara has had a profound impact that will undoubtedly result in a number of other employers taking on apprentices,” he added.

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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