Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

A pioneering apprenticeship programme for train drivers helped Transport for Wales (TfW) to stay on track to win a coveted national award.

TfW was named Large Employer of the Year at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2024 awards ceremony, held at ICC Wales, Newport.

Highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, the awards are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTFW).

Headline sponsor this year was EAL, specialist skills partner and awarding organisation for industry. The awards highlight the outstanding achievements of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.

Established as a not-for-profit company in 2015 to support the Welsh Government’s transport network vision, TfW has embraced work-based learning by recruiting hundreds of apprentices to improve performance and long-term sustainability.

The first cohort was welcomed in 2019 and, by 2021, the company had introduced a UK-first apprenticeship programme for trainee train drivers, designed in collaboration with the awarding body EAL and delivered in partnership with Coleg y Cymoedd.

The apprenticeship programme has encouraged scores of new recruits from diverse backgrounds to enter the rail industry with the target of attracting around 150 new apprentices per year over the next three to four years.

TfW currently employs 189 apprentices and has recruited over 300 over the past five years. Apprenticeships, which are also delivered by ALS Training, are available across 12 areas of the business and are supporting the TfW’s transformation plans.

With a focus on diversity and inclusivity, the apprenticeships have provided a sustainable pipeline of talent that aligns with the organisation’s goals and objectives as outlined in their corporate strategy and strategic equality plan.

After receiving the award, Adam Bagwell, TfW’s operations training manager, said: “After years of hard work, to win this fantastic award is the cherry on top of the icing on the cake. It has been a long slog to get to where we are today, and we are thrilled to be recognised with this special award.

“We are going through such a huge transformation and need a lot more drivers and people in a range of background roles.”

Al Parkes, managing director at EAL, said: “I would like to congratulate not just TfW and the other award winners, but all the employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners who were nominated.

“Showcasing their achievements is important as it inspires more people to consider apprenticeships and encourages more employers to take on apprentices.”

Chief Executive of the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research, Simon Pirotte OBE, said: “I want to congratulate all the finalists and winners. Stories like theirs drive home the high impact that apprenticeships can have, helping people to find fulfilling employment and contributing to Wales’ skills system. They will be a crucial part of the newly founded Commission for Tertiary Education and Research.”

For more information about recruiting an apprentice, visit: https://gov.wales/apprenticeships-genius-decision or call 03000 603000.

By Editor