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West Wales Meat Processing Business Collects Training Award

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A West Wales meat processing company which has a workforce of 58 has been named Medium Employer of the Year at a leading Welsh training company’s annual awards ceremony.

Cross Hands-based Celtica Foods, the catering butchery division of Welsh independent food service wholesaler Castell Howell Foods, supplies customers in the food service and hospitality sector.

The company works closely with Cambrian Training Company to offer Food Industry Skills, Meat & Poultry, Food Management and Food Manufacturing Excellence Apprenticeships from Levels 2 to 4 to give employees a deeper knowledge of the meat sector. The company currently has five apprentices and has trained 48 over a number of years.

Recognising that people are critical to the success and growth of the business, Celtica Foods has adopted change and succession plans focused on recruiting younger employees to reduce the average age of the workforce.

“In 2018, the average age of the total workforce at Celtica Foods was 48, with many of the senior team leaders over the age of 50,”

said Edward Morgan, the company’s corporate social responsibility and training manager.

“In terms of succession, it was evident that younger individuals needed to be introduced to the business.

“Although many of the senior team remain in position, the average age of the workforce has decreased. People are critical to the success of the business which is evident by the number of individuals who are celebrating more than 10 years’ service this year.”

After receiving the award, the company’s general manager Matthew Evans said:

“We are chuffed to bits to win this award. Having Cambrian Training Company behind us to support butchery apprentices is very important.

“We shall be focusing much more on apprenticeships in the next couple of years as we work to reduce the average age of our workforce.”

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.

The other Medium Employer of the Year finalist was Thorncliffe Building Supplies, Dyserth.

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 Celtica Foods 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.

“Celtica Foods has demonstrated a long term commitment to the apprenticeship programme and their local community.

“The company is a strong supporter and advocate of apprenticeships as part of its sustainability and succession planning.”

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