From education to employment

Celebrating the best apprentices in the region at the Cardiff and Vale College Apprenticeship Awards 2023

Twenty-one of the finest apprentices working in Wales have had their hard work and dedication celebrated at the first Cardiff and Vale College Apprenticeship Award to be held on campus in two years.

Employers and practitioners who have gone that extra mile in their commitment to work based learning were also recognised at the ceremony, held in the spectacular surroundings of Cardiff and Vale College’s City Centre Campus and hosted by Ross Harries.

Held during National Apprenticeship Week, the CAVC Apprenticeship Awards recognises the achievements of apprentices across CAVC’s network of 21 apprenticeship subcontractors, training more than 2,600 work-based learners across 44 apprenticeship routes. A full list of winners is below.

Those subcontractors are: Bosch, Brothers Constantinou, Cardiff City FC, Coleg QS Training, Focus On Training, JGR Group, JTL Training, KwikFit, More Training, NDGTA, Pengwin Training, PeoplePlus, Remit Training, Risual, Safe and Secure Training, Sgil Cymru, Skillnet, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Tydfil Training and WBTA.

Cardiff and Vale College Chief Executive Mike James said: “At CAVC Group – as the largest provider of apprenticeships in Wales – we passionately believe in the power of apprenticeships.

“Through the work of ACT and Cardiff and Vale College, along with our network of expert subcontractors, we are delivering high-quality apprenticeship training for all. We are continuously looking at the needs of our region, listening and responding to industry needs, and offering a demand-led and dynamic portfolio of apprenticeships. And we strive to develop new pathways and ways of working to further meet the needs of employers and our community – and our winners are proof of that.”

This year there were two Overall Apprentice of the Year Award winners: Level 2 Apprenticeship in Body and Paint learner Ieuan Morris-Brown and Level 4 Diploma in Leadership and Management apprentice Joanne Satherley.

Also winner of the Higher Apprenticeship Award, Joanne excelled at taking Duffryn Community Link forward to extend its reach as Operational Manager. This was at a time when Duffryn was going through many changes both internally and externally, particularly with the Covid pandemic.

Joanne achieved all this as a working mum of three, meeting all apprenticeship deadlines and completing all associated paperwork. She also helped drive forward other staff in their own personal development and helped deliver a much-enhanced CPD programme.

Duffryn’s trustees were very impressed and subsequently elevated Joanne to CEO last year – a huge achievement and excellent career opportunity.

“I’m really grateful and I’m delighted to have received this,” Joanne said. “It really means a lot.

“This apprenticeship has been really valuable for me and my career. I was employed in a management role for many years, but this apprenticeship has allowed me to progress to CEO level at the charity I work for.

“From my own experience, and from speaking to others in my classes, I’ve found that these apprenticeships can be a great alternative to university. I’ve seen them help build people’s confidence, develop their skills and work wonders for their careers.”

Ieuan Morris-Brown also won the Automotive Body Repair Award.

Ieuan made huge progress over the course of his apprenticeship and during his time studying at CAVC. He has shown great commitment to all aspects of his studies and proven that his practical ability is second to none.

Having competed in the WorldSkills UK national qualifiers in Hull, Ieuan went on to secure gold in the Automotive Body Repair WorldSkills national finals held at CAVC in November 2022. He has now been shortlisted for a position in the UK squad that will compete in the WorldSkills International Finals in Lyon, France, in 2024.

“It’s great to have won these awards,” Ieuan said.

“My apprenticeship has really helped me progress my career in body repair at IRG in Cardiff. It’s allowed me to earn money whilst I learn. I’ve enjoyed my time at the Cardiff and Vale College a lot and I’d definitely recommend this pathway.”

Level 3 Vehicle Body Repair apprentice Omer Waheed and Level 2 Business Apprentice Olivia Headley-Grant won Role Model awards for demonstrating excellence during their apprenticeships, showing inspirational achievement.

Olivia’s ambition to do things better, faster and more efficiently prooved infectious in her team at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. Olivia joined the Regional Partnership Board’s team within strategic planning as an apprentice during the pandemic and has impressed everyone with her work on a range of projects across NHS, local authorities and third sector to help improve people’s experience of care through joined-up services.

Olivia’s great work was recognised when she was shortlisted for Foundation Apprentice of the Year at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022.

“My apprenticeship has been a really enjoyable experience,” Olivia said. “Working and learning at the same time has really helped with my confidence and deepened my knowledge.

“It’s provided me with qualifications and an entry into work. After working as an Admin Assistant, I have now progressed to an Executive Assistant in the NHS. I’d certainly recommend an apprenticeship at Cardiff and Vale College!”

Thomas Lodge won the Hospitality and Catering Award.

A Level 2 Apprentice in Food Production and Cooking, Thomas is an enthusiastic apprentice who will always go that extra mile to gain the experience and knowledge required to progress within the industry. He has been proactive in introducing himself to the higher echelons of experienced chefs, and as a result he has enjoyed work experience at The Savoy in London and at Gordon Ramsay’s River Restaurant.

Thomas has recently completed his apprenticeship and is now working to set up his own establishment in Padstow in Cornwall.

“Cardiff and Vale College has provided me with so many opportunities to progress my career,” Thomas said. “Thanks to my apprenticeship, I’ve been able to cook all over country, working with Stephen Terry and Gordon Ramsey! The staff here are great, they’re really supportive and the facilities are amazing.

“I’m currently working as consultant in the hospitality industry whilst I start my own business. The next step for me is opening my new restaurant in Cornwall later this year.

“We’ll be serving gourmet-inspired street food to the people of Padstow. After that, I’m looking to open a second location here in Wales. I hope to see you there!”

Level 3 in Domestic Plumbing and Heating apprentice Hamza Zahid won the Plumbing Award.

A hard-working and reliable apprentice, Hamza is always willing to learn and expand his knowledge. He made a big contribution towards clearing Cardiff Council’s backlog of radiator installations and passed his qualification with flying colours, having excelled in completing the work that was set for him in College.

Hamza is known as a well-liked, respected and popular apprentice – and he won a Customer Service Award in 2019 with Cardiff Council, which demonstrates the quality of his customer interaction.

“It’s been great to meet so many new people and develop my skills here at Cardiff and Vale College,” Hamza said. “It’s been a really beneficial process for me and I’m looking forward to embarking on my new career as a gas engineer.”

Cardiff City FC Academy Senior Education Officer Olivia Linton-Perry and Tydfil Training Tutor/Assessor Phillip Hopkins won Work-Based Learning Practitioner Awards for their exemplary support to apprentices and colleagues and for the value they add to their organisations.

Employers who go out of their way to encourage and support apprentices were also recognised. This year Cambria Maintenance Services, Cardiff Students’ Union, Dow Chemical and the group of employers that support CAVC/Sgil Cymru’s CRIW Film and Television Apprenticeship won Employer of the Year Awards.

CAVC Principal Sharon James said: At Cardiff and Vale College we are incredibly proud to work with a talented network of expert subcontractors to deliver all of this.

“Each are experts in their fields, and we come together to think creatively, collaborate, and meet the changing needs of apprentices, employers and whole sectors. We work together to share best practice and provide the best quality apprenticeships for all.

“The achievements, success rates, satisfaction levels and the growing demand we see for apprenticeships all demonstrates that it is working. As do the many brilliant award-winners we heard about tonight.”

CAVC Group Principal Kay Martin said: “These awards really show what apprenticeships are all about – and that they work. I’d like to thank and congratulate all of the brilliant apprentices, the employers who invest so much in their staff and the hard-working trainers, assessors, teachers and staff from across our subcontractor network who have supported those apprentices.”

CategoryWinnerEmployed by
Automotive Body RepairIeuan Morris-BrownIRG
Automotive Light VehicleDafydd GreenChepstow Ford
Business AdministrationKara HumphriesA.F. Blakemore
ConstructionLewis MrukCSW Process
Creative IndustriesJacob PageATA
ElectrotechnicalHarry GoughEvans Electrical Ltd
EngineeringGary MorganDow Chemical
Financial ServicesEllese ClodeThe AA
HairdressingParis DaviesBlu Hair Design
Health and Social CareAnthony RobertsAccomplish Group – Kington House
Hospitality and CateringThomas LodgeSelf-employed
ICTSally RichardsonCeltic Manor
JournalismLauren MeredithTindle Newspapers
ManagementCatherine DochertySalvation Army
PlumbingHamza ZahidCardiff Council
Refrigeration and Air ConditioningRyan DaviesEmis Facilities Management
SportJoshua RiponCardiff City FC
Sustainable Resource ManagementKadell SavageCardiff Council
Role ModelOmer WaheedDavies Motor Company
 Olivia Headley-GrantCardiff and Vale University Health Board
Work-Based Learning PractitionerOlivia Linton-PerryCardiff City FC Academy
 Phillip HopkinsTydfil Training
Higher ApprenticeJoanne SatherleyDuffryn Community Link
Employer of the YearCambria Maintenance Services 
 Cardiff Students’ Union 
 Dow Chemical 
 CRIW Apprenticeship Employers 
Overall Apprentice of the YearIeuan Morris-BrownIRG
 Joanne SatherleyDuffryn Community Link

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