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Bright future awaits “exceptional” engineering apprentice Jacob

A bright future awaits mechanical engineering apprentice Jacob Marshall who has impressed his employer and his assessor with his skills and high standard of work.

Jacob, 20, who lives in Pontypridd, is employed by Combined Engineering Services (CES), an engineering and design company in Brynmawr, in partnership with Aspire Blaenau Gwent, which was formed in 2015 to fill a manufacturing skills gap in the area.

Hoping to complete his apprenticeship this summer, he has already completed a BTEC Level 3 Engineering qualification, is now working towards a HNC Level 4 in Engineering at Bridgend College and would like to progress to a HND.

Now, Jacob has been shortlisted for the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2024 as a finalist in the Tomorrow’s Talent category.

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 is EAL.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held at ICC Wales, Newport on March 22, 2024. The awards highlight the outstanding achievements of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.

CES grows its own employees with comprehensive in-house training supported by Aspire Blaenau Gwent. Engineering apprentices gain broad workshop experience  with the aim of producing fully qualified toolmakers who will develop with the business as it expands.

Mentored by an experienced toolmaker, Jacob has exceeded the company’s expectations, consistently delivering high quality work, meeting project deadlines and contributing to his team exceeding its annual performance target.

He is happy to take on challenging tasks. Recently, when his colleagues were busy on a major order, Jacob and a designer were asked to modify an important machine which they did successfully and on time.

“Jacob is undoubtedly an asset to the company and has an extremely positive impact on each month’s sales figures,” said Stephen Williams, managing director of CES. “We expect him to become an integral part of the team, making tangible contributions to our department’s success and growth.”

Jacob, who is continuing a line of engineers in his family, said: “I definitely think that apprenticeships are the way forward because I am earning while learning in a job that I love.”

David Rees, Coleg y Cymoedd’s apprenticeship co-ordinator for Aspire, said: “Jacob is an exceptional apprentice, constantly overachieving in his academic studies. His attention to detail, enthusiasm and good nature have combined to form an outstanding engineer of the future.”

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated Jacob and all the other finalists.

“Today’s apprentices will be tomorrow’s specialists, and Apprenticeship Awards Cymru allows us to recognise apprentices, work-based learning practitioners, and employers that have gone above and beyond,” he said. 

“Their tenacity, passion, and commitment to growing their own careers, the careers of others, and the larger Welsh economy is inspiring. I wish each of the finalists the best of luck at the awards and with their future endeavours.”

Congratulating the finalists, Al Parkes, managing director at EAL, said: “As the specialist awarding organisation and skills partner for the engineering and manufacturing industry, apprenticeships in Wales are especially important to us. Apprenticeships play an important role in supporting personal progress through career opportunities and a sense of achievement, while ensuring that employers have the right skills at the right time to keep up with evolving industry needs. EAL is committed to encouraging employers to take on apprentices. Marking the achievements of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru is vital to this.”

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

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