Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2023 are now open for nominations

Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2023 are now open for nominations

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2023 recognise apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, and are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW).

Members of the team of apprentices working at Kepak Group's sites.
Kepak Group is encouraging businesses to get involved in this year’s programme after seeing results from its win last year.

From the applications, finalists will be shortlisted for awards including Foundation Apprentice, Apprentice and Higher Apprentice of the Year, which also includes degree apprentices and Tomorrow’s Talent. Successful businesses are recognised with awards for small, medium, large and macro employers of the year. Work-based Learning Practitioner of the Year recognises those crucially involved in delivering apprenticeships.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “When a business takes on an apprentice, it isn’t just hiring a new member of staff. It is investing not only in its own future, but in the future of our economy. Apprenticeships motivate and diversify a workforce, offering people the chance to gain high-quality vocational skills while supporting themselves financially.

“Our investment in apprenticeships not only tackles skills shortages and gaps in priority sectors critical to drive productivity and economic growth, but it also increases opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to develop transferable skills and improve their lives.

“Today’s apprentices will be tomorrow’s specialists, responsible for supporting our country’s vital net zero ambitions alongside the everyday foundational economy and public services we will need to deliver.

“I urge everyone involved in our apprenticeship programme to celebrate their achievements. You can inspire others to follow your example by entering this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru and share your success stories.”

Application forms for the awards are available to download from and the closing date for entries is 12 noon on 16th June.

Why should businesses get involved in the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2023?

International food company Kepak Group, named Large Employer of the Year at last year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, is encouraging entries for this year’s awards programme.

Jeremy Jones, Kepak Group’s UK human resources operations manager, said: “Winning the award last year was the icing on the cake and has given Kepak St Merryn the confidence and enthusiasm to develop what we are doing.

“Apprenticeships have transformed the way we train and develop our people. We now have a confident workforce that drives productivity and improves performance.”

The company has 52 current apprentices and another 12 have completed their apprenticeships. Kepak is working towards having 100 apprentices at any one time to grow its own skilled workforce.

Kepak St Merryn is also in the process of recruiting another 180 employees over the next nine months, which will boost the workforce to around 1,000. The company says the opportunity to develop careers through apprenticeships is a big incentive and improves staff retention.

“Apprenticeships definitely help recruitment as we can offer a skills development opportunity,” said Mr Jones. “By building skills, employees move to the next level of pay. We want to sell a career rather than a role.

“We are building a learning culture and skilled workforce by providing career opportunities for our employees, giving a bright future for them and their families.”

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