Bilingual apprenticeships have been key to the growth of a successful North Wales independent skip and waste management company over the past eight years.
Because Thomas Skip and Plant Hire is located in Caernarfon, a predominantly Welsh speaking region, the company says it’s important that staff learn through the medium of Welsh.
The company, which encourages other employers to consider bilingual apprenticeships and using Welsh in the workplace, has been shortlisted for the Small Employer of the Year award at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021.
This annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships will see 35 finalists compete in 12 categories for awards. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on April 29.
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.
Thomas Skip and Plant Hire, which has three apprentices in a workforce of 10, is committed to protecting the environment by diverting as much waste from landfill as possible. Skip and waste services are provided across Gwynedd, Anglesey and Conwy as well plant hire, groundworks and clearances.
Training provider Cambrian Training delivers bilingual Apprenticeships in Sustainable Recycling Activities at Levels 2 and 3 and a Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration for the company.
Thomas Skip and Plant Hire says the Apprenticeship Programme is helping to retain staff and improve their customer service and waste industry knowledge.
Apprenticeships were introduced following a business review and skill scan which identified a need for workforce training and education.
“We believe that a happy, trained and safe workforce will help us develop our excellent reputation and continue our company’s growth,” said Natasha Thomas, who runs Thomas Skip and Plant Hire with partner Iestyn Thomas. “We aspire to be better than our competitors and think a trained workforce will help us achieve this.
“It is very important to us that we give our employees the opportunity to progress and improve themselves. They are more confident when dealing with customers and more accurate when completing the required regulatory paperwork, which is vital to comply with our site permit.”
Heather Martin, Cambrian Training’s head of sustainability and business, said:
“Thomas Skip and Plant Hire is committed to training its workforce and giving young people employment opportunities. The company is a great example of why the Welsh language is so important in the workplace and in training.”
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.”