Young apprentices have been recognised for their contributions to the construction sector by local provider, Y Prentis, and construction industry partners at a celebration awards event in Cardiff.

Young apprentices have been recognised for their contributions to the construction sector by local provider, Y Prentis, and construction industry partners at a celebration awards event in Cardiff.

Y Prentis, the shared apprenticeship scheme, hosted the inaugural awards to celebrate the achievements of young apprentices and their employers, bringing together construction industry representatives for a gala event at The Tramshed in Cardiff last week.

Y Prentis is a flagship partnership between housing association Melin Homes and Monmouthshire County Council, and is funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Welsh Government.

The £2 million venture has created over 180 apprenticeships across south east Wales in its first 3 years. The ultimate aim is to provide a service which supports young people into sustainable employment within the construction industry.

Four apprentices were recognised for their contributions, with awards for Industry Achiever, Learner of the Year, Against All Odds Award for the young person overcoming personal adversity to reach success, and the overall Apprentice of the Year.

The awards aimed to celebrate the role of apprenticeships in construction, highlighting the importance of creating pathways for young learners to ‘earn while they learn’ and ensuring young talent can grow with the construction industry.

Gabriel Williams was delighted to be awarded Apprentice of the Year at the event. “Even being nominated was a great achievement but to win the award was an incredible feeling. I'd like to thank everybody at Y Prentis for their continued support throughout my apprenticeship; it wouldn't have been possible without them.”

Paula Kennedy, Chief Executive of Y Prentis, highlighted the importance of celebrating both apprentices and their employers. “Working together has been key to the success of the Y Prentis model and these awards were created to ensure we take time to recognise the effort and determination our apprentices have made, and also the incredible support, guidance and mentoring provided to them to help them reach their full potential.”

Y Prentis is part-funded by CITB, the Construction Industry Training Board. Rob Davis, CITB Cymru Wales Regional Delivery Manager, said: “We are delighted to support Y Prentis who help employers and apprentices to gain the skills needed for our industry. Congratulations to all the winners at the inaugural awards. It’s vital that Welsh construction talent is nurtured and that we celebrate the huge contributions of both employers and trainees.”

The event also marked the contributions of construction companies and the employees that go above and beyond their duties to support and mentor young apprentices.

Four employees received awards for Inspirational Mentor, Community Benefit Support, Flexible Support Partner and the overall Y Prentis Ambassador.

Mike Little, Community Engagement Manager at Morgan Sindall was nominated by his colleagues and received the Community Benefit Support Award. He said, “Morgan Sindall is committed to adding real value to the communities in which we work – it’s something I passionately believe in, and I’m delighted to receive the Community Benefit Support Award.”

His colleague Tom Davies shared his delight at receiving the overall Y Prentis Ambassador award for his ongoing support of apprentices and the scheme as a whole. “Initiatives like Y Prentis play a vital role in promoting the industry to future generations, and helping them to get a foot on the ladder. I’ve been a long term supporter of the partnership and am incredibly pleased to receive the Ambassador Award.”

The awards were presented by inspirational speaker Lisa Marie Brown, founder of Pinkspiration, a multi award winning business working in the construction industry re-building empty spaces whilst up-skilling young people. Lisa is a role model for Welsh Government scheme Big Ideas Wales, which aims to encourage young people to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career option post-education.

Lisa is passionate about encouraging young people into the construction industry. "I am delighted to celebrate the achievements of these young people who are the next generation of talent for the construction industry, playing a vital role to the success of our industry in Wales and globally.”

Y Prentis also announced an exciting new scheme to allow apprentices the chance of a lifetime to visit a developing country with Habitat for Humanity. Apprentices will be able to apply for a volunteering opportunity to use their construction skills for good in a six to eight week trip in Kenya in 2018, supported by the international charity that seeks to partner individuals with projects around the world.

Were you at the event? Yes then take a look at the photos


Gabriel Williams- Y Prentis Apprentice of the year

Gabriel Williams- Y Prentis Apprentice of the year