Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


Wales’ Shared Apprenticeship Programme Builds for the Future


A shared apprenticeship programme, Cyfle Building Skills, has demonstrated what can be achieved by operating an open and collaborative approach to apprenticeship training in the construction industry.

The scheme began in 2007 as a partnership developed in the Carmarthenshire region and then progressed into the Cyfle Regional Model in August 2013, linked with five local authorities: Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.

Based in Ammanford, Cyfle Building Skills employs 135 shared apprentices throughout the South West Wales region, making it one of the largest employers of its kind in the UK.

Now the programme has been shortlisted for this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. Cyfle Building Skills will be competing to become Medium Employer of the Year at the prestigious awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on October 20.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the coveted awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.

Thirty star learners, employers and learning providers involved in the delivery of successful skills programmes across Wales have been shortlisted for the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.

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

The awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the outstanding achievements of learners, employers, tutors and assessors who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships and Apprenticeship programmes.

Cyfle Building Skills works with a range of employers, allowing apprentices to move between companies of varying sizes which operate within different areas of the construction industry.

Its frameworks cover bricklaying, carpentry, electrical, plastering, plumbing, maintenance and refurbishment, painting and decorating. The apprentices attend regional colleges while being offered practical work in various trades over two years.

Anthony Rees, Cyfle Building Skills’ regional manager, said:

“We are committed to educating, inspiring and supporting people to develop careers within the construction industry and have made a significant contribution to training activity in the region. We are seen as a learner’s first choice due to the unique way we operate.”

This year, Cyfle Building Skills will be presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation.

The company is also proud of its diversity in the workplace. This includes young people with disabilities, members of the local travelling community and females – 10 per cent of its 2016 intake were female. To date it has worked with 140 contractors of different sizes in the region.

Praising the standard of applicants this year and congratulating Cyfle Building Skills on being shortlisted for an award, Skills and Science Minister, Julie James said:

“This year’s shortlisted entrants include exceptional individuals who have excelled in their workplace and learning providers and employers that have gone the extra mile to support the apprentices they are working with. Their stories never cease to amaze and inspire.

“Apprenticeships and vocational skills training are essential ingredients of economic success and vital tools in building a stronger, fairer and more equal Wales.

“These awards provide a perfect platform to celebrate success and reward the hard work and dedication of learners, employers and training providers across Wales. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the night.”


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.

Duncan’s wide-ranging work entails media campaigns, researching and drafting press releases, media liaison, political lobbying, event management, organising photocalls, website content advice, social media and newsletters.

He has extensive PR experience of the food and drink, education and training, catering and hospitality, insurance and financial services, manufacturing, tourism, farming, property, fine art, lubricants and telematics sectors.

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.

Services provided:

Public Relations
Media Relations
Public Affairs
Crisis Communications
Event management


Related Articles