From education to employment

Engineering apprentice saves employer £20,000 a year

William Davies, who works for Kautex Textron CVS Ltd in Hengoed, which specialises in clear vision systems for the automotive industry, has been shortlisted for an award in the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021.

William, 20, from Llwydcoed, Aberdare, has made a significant contribution to the multi-national business, having saved his employer £20,000 a year by automating a product assembly system.

His other achievements to date include commissioning a new Rapid Prototyping 3D printer to assist in autonomous vehicle systems development, implementing Health and Safety and productivity improvements and managing a project to renovate and ensure a canteen is Covid-secure.

Now William is in the running to win the Apprentice of the Year award at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on April 29.

This annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships will see 35 finalists compete in 12 categories for awards.

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.

Steve Mills, the company’s continuous improvement and technical manager, describes William as one of the “stand-out characters” he has met during 25 years of management. He praised William’s all-round ability, saying he is already working to the level of a graduate manufacturing engineer.

“Despite a particularly difficult year with working restrictions, distance learning and modified applications, William remains on course to exceed our expectations once again,” he added.

William has a list of qualifications and distinctions to his name, garnered as he strives to achieve his ambition of becoming a chartered engineer/company director.

He achieved an Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture (Engineering Technical Support) six months ahead of schedule at Coleg y Cymoedd where he attained two awards. He is now working towards a Level 4 HNC in Mechanical Engineering at Bridgend College.

William said: “I decided to undertake an apprenticeship as I believed it would equip me with the skills, knowledge and practical experience required to pursue my life-long dream of becoming a manufacturing engineer, and it has.

“I have definitely increased my employability by completing my apprenticeship, continually pushing myself to go above and beyond my employer’s expectations.

“I strive for perfection and hold my company’s core values and success at the heart of everything I do.”

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.”

Picture caption:

William Davies.

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