“Model apprentice” Ethan Davies has made it a hat-trick for a Flintshire aerospace engineering company at the annual Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards for Wales.
Ethan, 22, who works for Electroimpact UK Ltd, in Hawarden, was named VQ Learner of the Year – Higher at a ceremony held at The Exchange Hotel, Cardiff on May 3 to coincide with VQ Day.
Last year, the company was named VQ Employer of the Year and its UK manufacturing lead, Matthew Booth, won the VQ Trainer of the Year Award.
The VQ Learner – Higher Award recognise learners who clearly demonstrate progression and excellence in vocational studies and have made considerable achievements in their field.
The VQ Awards are organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), ColegauCymru / CollegesWales and Qualifications Wales.
Ethan said: “It’s a massive achievement and I am really proud to have won this award against some awesome competition. I hope I can use it as a stepping stone to help other apprentices that are coming through the business.
“This is the first award I have won that is directly linked to my apprenticeships and in a way it’s a payback to my NVQ assessor who has helped me to get to where I am
“I didn’t do well at school but once I found something I wanted to do and enjoyed, I was able to really develop and I have represented the UK at WorldSkills.
“The fact that the company has now won three VQ awards shows the quality of our staff and will hopefully help us to win contracts from other companies in the aerospace industry.”
Through hard work and continuous learning, Ethan is focussed on becoming a role model for young apprentices. He has blossomed through vocational education and matured into a key member of staff at Electroimpact UK Ltd.
He believes it is his competitive edge that is steering his career path, after completing his Higher Apprenticeship Engineering Manufacture Level 4 at Coleg Cambria whilst training to compete in WorldSkills as a part of the gold medal winning UK squad.
“My competition experience has enabled me to bring up-to-date, world-class skills to the company that have been a proven benefit to production over the past few years,” said Ethan.
“I am known within the company to be someone who will always get the job done no matter what and that people can always rely on me to produce high quality products.”
His learning has already reaped dividends for Electroimpact UK Ltd.
“Ethan returned from a training course that was organised by the Welsh Government and reprogramed a job we were running that was taking over an hour to manufacture. He cut the manufacturing time to 40 minutes and improved the accuracy and quality of the part,” said Matthew Booth, UK manufacturing lead at Electroimpact UK Ltd.
“He has an extremely positive impact on our business and has become a role model for our younger apprentices with his desire to do his best and be the best. His professional work ethic and commitment to the company is being passed onto them.”
Vocational qualifications are important to the economy, companies and individuals, as they deliver the trained, talented employees that businesses are crying out for and ensure young people have the skills needed to succeed in education and work.
Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan congratulated Ethan. “A VQ award is a symbol of dedication towards a chosen profession, demonstrating to others a real commitment towards personal and professional development,” she said.
“The awards help us to celebrate those Welsh employers, learners and trainers who are already going that extra mile when it comes to developing vocational skills and qualifications.”
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Ethan Davies receives the VQ Learner of the Year – Higher award from Ann Evans, Qualifications Wales chairman and Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan watched by compere Mai Davies.