We are thrilled to annouce that one of our learners was successful at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru ceremony which took place on 20 October.

Thirty-three learners, employers and learning providers involved in the delivery of a range of successful skills programmes across Wales were shortlisted for the prestigious awards, jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). The awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.

Maria Brooks, the first adult woman apprentice taken on at Ford’s Bridgend plant, was named Apprentice of the Year. An ambassador for engineering careers to the next generation, Maria’s four-year apprenticeship will give her a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Electrical Engineering.

The awards ceremony, held at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, brought together the cream of learners, employers and training providers across Wales, who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships, Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeship programmes. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science Julie James congratulated the winners and award finalists. “We are proud to be delivering one of the most successful apprenticeship programmes in Europe with success rates in Wales remaining well above 80 per cent,” she said.

“Developing skilled people is vital for our economy. We have some truly exceptional apprentices here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements. Equally important are the learning providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their apprentices.”

Sarah John, NTfW chair, said: “Apprenticeships are the gold standard in vocational training, guaranteeing that employers have at their disposal a talented and motivated workforce with the practical skills and qualifications needed now and in the future.

“Congratulations to all the award finalists who are proof of the successful partnership approach to skills development in Wales by the government, employers, apprentices and learning providers working together to deliver lasting results and the best apprenticeship system in the UK.”

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Maria Brooks, Apprentice of the Year