Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


Wales Shortlists 30 Stars for Apprenticeship Awards Cymru Final


Thirty star learners, employers and learning providers involved in the delivery of successful skills programmes across Wales have been shortlisted from hundreds of applicants for this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.

Entries for the coveted awards, jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), poured in from across the nation, giving a panel of judges a difficult task of selecting the finalists.

The finalists in 11 categories must now wait until the final ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on October 20 to discover who has won the awards, which are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.

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

Skills and Science Minister, Julie James congratulated all the shortlisted entrants, praised the high standard of applicants this year and thanked them all for applying.

She said:

“Apprenticeships and vocational skills training are essential ingredients of economic success and vital tools in building a stronger, fairer and more equal Wales,” she said. “I welcome the fact that more employers are recognising the value of our successful apprenticeship programme and the need to raise higher level skills in order to address skills gaps and respond to industry changes.

“The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides a perfect platform to celebrate success and reward the hard work and dedication of learners, employers and training providers across Wales who have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Traineeship and Apprenticeship Programmes and contributed to the development of our wider employability and apprenticeship plans.”

NTfW chair Sarah John said:

“The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru are a fantastic annual showcase of our successful skills programmes here in Wales. We can be justly proud as a nation about the achievements of our learners, employers and work-based learning practitioners.”

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

The finalists are:

Traineeships Learner of the Year (Engagement):

  • Billy Brown, Barry whose learning provider is The People Business Wales Ltd
  • Catherine Grace Cox, Tregarth, Bangor from Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Llangefni campus
  • Jordan William Jones, Bangor from Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Llangefni campus

Traineeships Learner of the Year (Level One):

  • Emily Wintle,  Llanharry, Pontyclun from ACT Training, Cardiff
  • Joshua O’Leary, Tredegar from Peopleplus, Merthyr Tydfil
  • Kirsty Redmond, Merthyr Tydfil from Peopleplus, Merthyr Tydfil

Foundation Apprentice of the Year:

  • Joe Lewis, Port Talbot who works for Vale Europe Limited
  • Samuel Jones, Graig, Pontypridd who works for Wales and West Utilities
  • Sophie Hendy, Llandudno who works for Tommy’s Hair Company

Apprentice of the Year:

  • Adam Griffiths, Ynysybwl, Pontypridd who works for Rhonda Cynon Taff County Borough Council
  • Corey Jones, Wrexham who works for Aldi, Mold
  • Stephen Pickles, Llanrumney, Cardiff who works for Renishaw PLC, Miskin

Higher Apprentice of the Year:

  • Megan Hession, Llanishen, Cardiff who works for Montana Health Care, Caerphilly
  • Peter Rushforth, Leeswood, Mold who works for Swans Farm Shop, Treuddyn, near Mold
  • Rebecca Crook, St Athen who works for Little Inspirations Day Nursery, Barry

Small Employer of the Year (1 to 49 employees):

  • Archway Court, Cardiff
  • Happy Horse Retirement Home Ltd, Crai, Brecon

Medium Employer of the Year (50 to 249):

  • Celtica Foods, Cross Hands, Llanelli
  • Cyfle Building Skills Ltd, Ammanford and Electroimpact UK Ltd, Hawarden

Large Employer of the Year (250 to 4,999):

  • Celtic Manor Resort, Newport
  • Intellectual Property Office, Newport
  • Redrow Homes, Tamworth

Macro Employer of the Year (5,000 plus):

  • Deloitte LLP, Cardiff
  • Tata Steel UK Limited, Port Talbot

Work-based Learning Assessor of the Year:

  • Emma Huggins, Rhoose who works for ACT Training, Cardiff
  • Kelly Nancarrow, Trevethin, Cwmbran who works for Torfaen Training
  • Sue Jeffries, Rumney, Cardiff who works for Sgil Cymru

Work-based Learning Tutor of the Year:

  • Matthew Owen from Aspiration Training Limited, St Mellons, Cardiff
  • Ros Smith, Trehafod, Pontypridd who works for ACT Training, Cardiff


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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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


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