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Managing Director of Cambrian Training Receives OBE

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Arwyn Watkins a key figure in the work-based learning sector in Wales has been awarded an OBE in the New Years Honours list. He previously served as chairman and chief executive of the National Training Federation for Wales where he worked in partnership with Welsh Government and the network to shape the successful programmes delivered in Wales today.

He is a board member of the Regional Learning and Skills Partnership for West and Mid Wales, a trustee of British Food Trust, president of the Culinary Association of Wales and a member of the WorldChefs’ Feed the Planet and Sustainability Committee.

A farmer’s son, he left Builth Wells High School to join the Army as an apprentice chef and has maintained his commitment to apprenticeship programmes ever since. On leaving the Army, he joined the Merchant Navy, working for Stena Line and became a catering college lecturer in Kent before returning to Mid Wales to join Cambrian Training Company in 1998.

The company has enjoyed considerable growth under his leadership, winning the Apprenticeship Provider of the Year at the 2007 and 2012 Apprenticeship Awards Cymru together with a series of other accolades. The company now employs more than 120 staff and sub-contractors.

Arwyn comments

“This award is normally reserved for directors of education and principals of Further and Higher Education institutions,” he said. “It’s a huge honour and I would like to think that it recognises the important contribution that the independent training sector makes to the daily lives of people living and working in Wales.

“It is also recognition for Cambrian Training Company, which I joined nearly 20 years ago and my family. I couldn’t do the range of work that I do without their full support.”

Culinary skills are one of his main passions and he coached the Junior Welsh Culinary Team to a Culinary Olympics gold medal in 2004. As a member of the Applied Ability Awards National Committee, he was instrumental in running pilot programmes in Wales leading to ground-breaking craft-led qualifications for chefs.

Earlier this year, he headed up a team that attracted the WorldChefs’ European conference to the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport. He is now involved in a team bidding to host the WorldChefs Congress at the Wales International Convention Centre at the Celtic Manor Resort in 2024.

Away from work, Mr Watkins is president of his local rugby club, Cobra RFC.

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Duncan Foulkes Public Relations Limited is a well established communications consultancy based in beautiful Mid Wales.

Incorporating public and media relations, the consultancy provides a range of services to businesses and organisations throughout Wales and the Marches.

A former newspaper journalist for 24 years, Duncan moved into PR in 1999 after editing the County Times & Express & Gazette newspapers – the main weekly titles in Mid Wales – for five years.

His main reason for leaving the newspaper industry was a desire for a new career challenge. His successful PR business predominantly focuses on companies based in Wales and Shropshire.

His motto is to keep things as simple as possible to avoid over-complicating what is a straightforward goal – to achieve media coverage for a client.

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His contacts extend from local newspapers in Wales to the national print and broadcast media, trade publications and digital media.

Duncan Foulkes PR uses only the most creative photographers, ensuring that photography to support his work is of the highest quality.

He is passionate about issues relating to the countryside and enjoys fly fishing, watching sport and spending time with his family in his spare time.

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