This year has begun where 2016 finished for talented Welsh butcher Peter Rushforth, named Higher Apprentice of the Year at the inaugural Cambrian Training Company Apprenticeship, who added another award to his bulging trophy cabinet last night (Thursday 9th).
Peter, who works for Swans Farm Shop, Treuddyn, Mold, was named Higher Apprentice of the Year at the inaugural Cambrian Training Company Apprenticeship, Employment and Skills Awards 2017 held at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells.
The award capped a fantastic 12 months for the young butcher who won a WorldSkills gold medal and Meat Trades Journal Young Butcher of the Year in 2016 and has just returned from a Hybu Cig Cymru Scholarship visit to America.
Progressing from a Foundation Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship in Meat and Poultry Industry Skills to a Higher Apprenticeship in Food Manufacturing Excellence, he has won many competitions along the way, including the Young Welsh Butcher.
In a double celebration at the awards ceremony, Clive and Gail Swan of Swans Farm Shop, were named the Micro Employer of the Year.
“I’m chuffed to bits to win this award,” said Peter, who is now looking forward to applying for the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. “It’s the culmination of everything I’ve done over the last 12 months. I have returned from America yesterday and now I have a lot of work to do with Hybu Cig Cymru to translate my ideas.”
Gail Swan was delighted with Peter’s awards and to win the Micro Employer of the Year Award. “We couldn’t have a better employee,” she said. “He’s like to son to us.”
Referring to the award she and her husband had won, she said: “I was left speechless because the level of competition was so high. Peter was our first apprentice and it has been a massive learning curve. Everything about it has been positive and we have all benefited from the training delivered by Cambrian Training Company.”
The Swans run a 200-acre working farm and farm shop, which employs three full-time and three part-time employees. The business is now considering taking on more apprentices who Peter will help to train.
Cambrian Training Company, which has offices in Welshpool, Holyhead, Colwyn Bay and Llanelli, has launched the awards to celebrate all that is great about training, apprenticeships and skills in Wales. The company delivers apprenticeships to 1,200 learners and works with around 400 employers across Wales.
Cambrian Training Company’s managing director Arwyn Watkins congratulated all the finalists, saying they were all winners. “We work with some great employers and learners throughout Wales as we deliver a range of apprenticeship, skills and employment training programmes on behalf of the Welsh Government,” he added
“These awards celebrate the achievements of those who have exceeded expectations during their engagement and commitment to training and skills programmes and shown a unique approach to training and development and demonstrated initiative, enterprise, innovation and creativity.”
The other Micro Employer of the Year finalist was Brian Crane Butchers, Caerphilly. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.