The Blaenau Gwent Aspire Shared Apprenticeship Programme Team have won the ‘Large Employer of The Year’ award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2019 (AAC), which took place at the International Convention Centre, Newport on the 24th October. The award category entitled ‘Large and Macro Employer of The Year’ recognises and celebrates the employer’s commitment to developing their workforce through apprenticeships, whilst also supporting their employees during training.
To reach the award finals is an outstanding achievement as there are many established organisations competing for such a prestigious award. Finalists included Lloyds Banking Group, British Airways, Swansea Bay University Health Board and Legal & General Investments. The Aspire team knew they had performed exceptionally well just to make the final stages, so to win was more than anyone expected. The AAC showcases excellence in skills development throughout Wales and celebrates the outstanding achievement of learners and employers - Aspire Shared Apprenticeship Programme has now been acknowledged for their outstanding dedication, apprentice employment record and their ability to work with key partners, such as Coleg Y Cymoedd and local companies. This has been achieved by working closely with Welsh Government, Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone Board and Blaenau Gwent CBC.
Establised in 2015 the five-strong team specialises in providing the manufacturing and engineering businesses of Blaenau Gwent with apprentices. To date, they boast an impressive 100% record of apprentices being employed at the end of their programme.
Richard Crook, Corporate Director Regeneration and Community Services says:
“This is a fantastic achievement for the Aspire team and also for our apprentices and the employers who we work with. It’s recognition of all the hard work that has been put into the Shared Apprenticeship Programme, which is now award winning”.
Councillor David Davies Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development added:
“I am so proud of what the Aspire Shared Apprenticeship Programme has achieved, especially as the calibre of candidates in their category was very impressive. Developing skilled people is vital for our economy and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides the ideal platform to showcase the best employers, apprentices and training providers from across Wales”.
The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru are organised jointly by the National Training Federation for Wales and Welsh Government and via a distinguished panel of judges have brought together 34 worthy finalists from all parts of Wales.
Picture - Skills Development Manager Tara Lane and representatives of Aspire Blaenau Gwent receive the Large Employer of the Year Award from Diane Block, regional manager of sponsor Babcock International Group.
Left to right: Graham Rees (Aspire Mentor), Diane Block (Babcock International Group), Tara Lane (Skills Development Manager), Alison Hodgins (Aspire Business Support) and Andrew Bevan (Aspire Programme Coordinator).