One of Wales’ leading work-based learning companies has celebrated the achievements of apprentices from across country at its Apprenticeship Graduation Awards ceremony.
Sixty apprentices received their graduation scrolls in their cap and gowns at the ceremony organised by Welshpool-based Cambrian Training Company at the Metropole Hotel and Spa, Llandrindod Wells.
The graduates included Patrick Rixson, 24, head chef at Bank Farm Leisure, Horton, Gower, who qualified as an engineer before deciding to focus on his passion for cooking, having been inspired by his mum.
Patrick began washing pots in the kitchen at his local pub, The Ship Inn in Port Eynon, at the age of 15 and graduated to commis chef. He went on to work at Bank Farm Leisure and the Britannia Inn, Llanmadog, achieving a Foundation Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship in Professional Cookery with Cambrian Training.
Keen to continue learning, he recently completed a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Hospitality Management and hopes to gain experience working in other kitchens in the future before ultimately opening his own bistro where he can teach chefs.
“Apprenticeships are brilliant because they offer you so many opportunities to progress yourself whilst working full-time,” said Patrick. “They open your eyes to what the trade can offer when you have the right skills the knowledge under your belt.
“My advice to school leavers or anyone considering their future career is not to be a sheep and follow the flock to college or university. You can progress on your own through an apprenticeship and achieve more than you would by going to college or university, building up a huge debt at the end.”
Training officer Will Richards praised Patrick’s enthusiasm and passion to learn new things.
“We can teach the skills and theory, but we can’t teach the will to succeed and Patrick has that in abundance,” he said. “The last year has been character building for him because he combined the Higher Apprenticeship with running a busy kitchen.”
Congratulating all the graduates, Cambrian Training’s managing director Faith O’Brien told them:
“You have worked hard, showed dedication and have come out on top, with skills and knowledge that will last a lifetime.
“Your training has given you the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally and to become part of a skilled workforce that will make a valuable contribution to society.
“You have the potential to make a positive impact on the world and I have no doubt that you will go on to achieve great things.
“Remember that learning never stops. Your apprenticeship has provided you with a solid foundation, but the future is yours to shape.”
She praised training officers and staff at Cambrian Training and the company’s partners for playing a critical role in ensuring that apprentices receive the best vocational training and personal development experience.
She also acknowledged the important support given to apprentices by employers, work colleagues, their families and friends.
Cambrian Training’s partners are Sirius Skills Consulting, Lifetime Training, Progression Training, Call of the Wild, Clybau Plant Cymru, AGW, Work-based Training Agency, Portal Training, Inspiro and NTG Training.
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.