From education to employment

Faith is Cambrian Training Company’s new managing director for work-based learning

Immediate: January 16, 2023

A new managing director for work-based learning has been appointed by Welshpool-based Cambrian Training Company, one of the leading apprenticeship providers in Wales.

Faith O’Brien succeeds Arwyn Watkins, OBE, who becomes group executive chairman with a strategic focus on Cambrian Training Company, Trailhead Fine Foods, Chartists 1770 at The Trewythen and Mid Wales Fayres.

They will both continue as board members of the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the organisation that represents work-based learning providers across Wales.

Cambrian Training Company is a multi-award winning company that specialises in the delivery of apprenticeships across a range of industries pan-Wales. Its core business is in the food and drink and catering and hospitality industries.

With regional offices in Llanelli, Holyhead, Colwyn Bay and Builth Wells, the company has a workforce of 79 and has seen major growth in the past five years, when Faith joined the business.

The company’s apprenticeships commission from the Welsh Government has increased from £4.6 million to £8.3 million.

Excited by her promotion, Faith said: “Arwyn and I have worked together for many years and, when I joined Cambrian Training Company, I never dreamed the company would have grown and diversified at such a rate. This is all thanks to our employees and delivery partners.

“In my new role I will be taking the lead on all aspects of work-based learning at Cambrian Training Company and reporting directly to Arwyn.

“Work based learning has some difficult times ahead with the cost of living and other factors directly impacting staff, employers and the local economy. My focus is to ensure we maintain and grow our quality, providing the same level and volume of support irrespective of the future challenges.

“Our staff and partners have enabled the company to be financially sound with a strong commission moving forward. My priority is to ensure we retain our commission value and improve our quality outcomes, whilst also considering new business opportunities.”

Arwyn added: “Due to the level of growth and diversification achieved by the company, we need a managing director who is focused totally on the delivery of quality work-based learning.

“It’s so important that we get that right and not be distracted by external factors. I will be responsible for the strategic direction of the group as a whole and ensuring that the strategic plan is delivered by my directors.”

As president of the Culinary Association of Wales, Arwyn will be leading on the organisation of the Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2026 at the International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales).

Last week, Arwyn was also appointed a Wales Conference Ambassador by the Welsh Government and he’s a member of the Wales Business Council and the British Food Trust.

Faith has more than 25 years’ leadership experience within the sector having strong, established working relationships delivering work-based learning and employability contracts across the UK.

Picture caption:

Faith O’Brien, Cambrian Training Company’s new managing director for work-based learning with group executive chairman Arwyn Watkins, OBE

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