A Wrexham aerospace company, which works closely with a learning provider to develop specialist Apprenticeship courses, has been named Wales' Large Employer of the Year.
Magellan Aerospace collected the accolade at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru held at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on November 9.
Dave Evans, the company's senior training and development officer, said:
“We are absolutely ecstatic. It has been a long time coming to get recognition for our Apprenticeship Programme.
“The award shows that we have a programme that can compete with anybody else in the sector and demonstrates to staff that apprenticeships do bring worth to the business.
“Coleg Cambria, who offer us absolutely fantastic facilities, have helped us to achieve this award. Businesses that are skeptical about apprenticeships should be in no doubt about the value they bring to the table.”
The annual 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.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the coveted awards are supported by media partner, Media Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Magellan Aerospace has invested heavily in apprenticeships and developed a dynamic workforce capable of remaining at the forefront of a competitive global industry.
“We have worked closely with Coleg Cambria to make sure our programmes fit in with the needs of our business,” said Mr Evans. “We are also part of the college's engineering employer network where we can share best practice and discuss common issues.
“It means we take part in events to promote apprenticeships not just to support our own recruitment but to share our experience and that of our apprentices.”
The company has more than 400 employees who design, engineer and manufacture aero-engine and aero-structure assemblies and components for aerospace markets, advanced products for military and space markets, industrial power generation and specialist products.
Apprentices are encouraged to become an integral part of the community by getting involved in fundraising for the college charity, as well as promoting the benefits of apprenticeships to other local businesses and schools.
Engineering Manufacture and Business Administration training programmes have evolved over the past 20 years and Magellan Aerospace currently has 74 apprentices on its books, drawing warm praise from the company's training partner.
“Magellan Aerospace is a model company when it comes to apprentices,” said Vicky Barwis, director of work-based learning at Coleg Cambria. “It is a real partnership approach to the programme, with Magellan starting early to talk to full time students to ensure they are recruiting the best local raw talent for their business.
“If a student from Cambria is lucky enough to be chosen by Magellan, we know they are going to have a successful career.”
Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan congratulated Magellan Aerospace together with the other award winners and finalists for setting the gold standard for apprenticeships and traineeships.
She praised the company for going the extra mile to support apprentices and for its commitment to the Apprenticeships Programme in Wales.
“The Welsh Government regards apprenticeships as a priority area and, with support from the European Social Fund, has committed to creating a minimum of 100,000 high quality all-age apprenticeships over this Assembly term,” said the Minister.
“We have a clear vision for addressing the needs of Welsh businesses, developing skills pathways and increasing higher level skills that benefit the whole of Wales. If the Welsh economy is to continue to grow, then we must work together to equip Wales with a world class workforce.”