Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


The Celtic Collection Named Large Employer of the Year at Training Awards


The Celtic Collection, a prestigious family of experience-focused UK business and leisure destinations, has been recognised with an award for its focus on apprenticeships.

Employing more than 900 people across South Wales, The Celtic Collection was named Large Employer of the Year at the annual Apprenticeship, Employment and Skills Awards organised by Cambrian Training Company, Wales’ leading provider of apprenticeships to the hospitality industry.

There was double delight for the company as Nerys Smithwick, room service adviser at the Celtic Manor Resort, was named Higher Apprentice of the Year.

Vocational qualifications are ‘golden nuggets' within the hospitality industry, says the company which has 31 apprentices working towards a wide range of Apprenticeships from Level 2 to Level 5, including Hospitality, Professional Cookery, Management and Leadership.

The Celtic Collection offers a range of initiatives to recruit, engage and empower employees to design their own career paths, upskill and achieve recognised qualifications to grow their career.

A Hotel Operations Apprenticeship Program has been introduced to offer opportunities to hospitality-focused on young people aged 16 plus.

The Celtic Collection includes the flagship Celtic Manor Resort, International Convention Centre Wales, Coldra Court Hotel, Tŷ Hotel Magor, Tŷ Hotel Milford Waterfront and The Parkgate Hotel Cardiff.

Responding to the award, Tracy Israel, head of learning and development, said:

“The last two years have been catastrophic for the hospitality industry and for us to start the recovery process with this award is a real boost.

“We have some amazing apprentices within the business, like Nerys. We now offer an apprenticeship to every member of staff joining the business, irrespective of their role.

“Apprenticeships are fundamental to the business as they help us to attract new recruits which is a major challenge for our industry.”

Recognising employers and learners who have excelled in apprenticeship, skills and employment training programmes delivered by Cambrian Training Company, the company’s annual awards were held at The Metropole Hotel & Spa, Llandrindod Wells on June 14.

With offices in Welshpool, Holyhead, Colwyn Bay, Llanelli and Llanelwedd, Cambrian Training Company delivers work-based apprenticeships across Wales.

Arwyn Watkins, OBE, the company’s managing director, congratulated The Celtic Collection and the other award winners and finalists for their achievements despite the challenging disruptions caused by the pandemic over the past two years.

“These awards showcase the dedication and commitment by individuals and companies to the apprenticeship programme here in Wales,” he added. “The Celtic Collection has made a long term commitment to the apprenticeship programme and recognises the need to develop its staff.”

The Apprenticeship Programme in  Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.