Talented West Wales joiner Dion Evans is enjoying a memorable year as he looks forward to representing Wales in the national finals of the WorldSkills UK competition in November.
Dion, 19, who works for Alwyn Evans Ltd in his home village of Talgarreg, Llandysul, won a gold medal to qualify for the final of the joinery competition in Edinburgh, having won a bronze medal last year.
In addition, he is also one of three finalists shortlisted for the Apprentice of the Year title at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022, having achieved a City & Guilds Apprenticeship in Bench Joinery from Coleg Ceredigion and Coleg Sir Gâr.
Winners of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022 will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on November 10. The awards highlight the outstanding achievements, during unprecedented times, of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.
Highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, the awards are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Headline sponsor for the third year is Openreach.
Dion began working for Alwyn Evans as a 14-year-old in his spare time and jumped at the chance to join the business on an apprenticeship when he left school with 14 GCSEs.
His contribution to the business has seen workload and profits rise by 20 per cent and freed up Alwyn to take on more work, which includes making bespoke cabinets to staircases.
“My apprenticeship has not only taught me the skills I need to do my job, but it has also made me challenge myself further by entering competitions and pushing to achieve a higher standard,” said Dion. “I have grown a lot as a joiner and a person.
“Taking part in Skills Competition Wales and the WorldSkills UK national competitions finals has been a great experience and a big confidence boost, giving me a new way of thinking and a more modern way of working.
“What I have learnt during my apprenticeship, combined with the support and encouragement that I have received from Alwyn, has given me the tools I need to become a skilled and successful tradesman in the future.”
His ultimate future goal is to run his own business, having already established a home workshop where he makes garden furniture to hire out for functions.
Dion and his sister, Cara, cycled 75 miles and walked 18 miles earlier this year to raise £17,609 for the chemotherapy unit in Glangwili Hospital in memory of their mother, who sadly passed away when he was eight years old.
Alwyn Evans said: “Dion has made a significant contribution to my company over the years. He is a very reliable and determined young man who always strives for perfection in every task he carries out.
“I am very proud of what Dion has achieved and the way in which he constantly challenges himself to achieve more.”
Congratulating Dion and all the other shortlisted finalists, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “Apprenticeships make a huge contribution to our economy and will be crucial as Wales continues to bounce back from the pandemic.
“They can help futureproof, motivate and diversify a workforce, offering people the chance to gain high-quality vocational skills.
“As part of our Young Person’s Guarantee, the Welsh Government will be investing £366 million over the next three years to deliver 125,000 all-age apprenticeships across Wales during the current term of government.
“We want to increase opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to develop transferable skills in the workplace and improve their lives. The investment will also help tackle skills shortages and gaps in priority sectors critical to drive productivity and economic growth, supporting our net zero ambitions, the every-day foundational economy and public services.”
The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund. For more information about recruiting an apprentice, visit: https://gov.wales/apprenticeships-genius-decision or call 03000 603000.
Dion Evans is enjoying a memorable year.