College Merthyr Tydfil and Tydfil Training apprentice Rhys Davies has won the Engineering Award at the QSA Apprenticeship Awards 2021
The Award, which aims to celebrate the success of standout apprentices from across the Quality Skills Alliance, is a fitting recognition for Rhys who has really gone above and beyond during his time as an apprentice at General Dynamics.
Rhys, who is a former Afon Taf High School pupil, impressed the judging panel of industry experts through the perseverance, determination and commitment he has shown during his apprenticeship programme with General Dynamics and subsequent education at The College Merthyr Tydfil and Tydfil Training Consortium.
Rhys began his training for industry through studying a BTEC Engineering Level 3 course day release at The College Merthyr Tydfil. Rhys fully applied himself, producing a high standard of work, taking on additional duties, participating in day release and any extracurricular activities afforded him. Having completed his BTEC L3, he then enrolled and successfully completed with Merit, the HNC in Mechanical Engineering. During this time he also completed IOSH (Managing Safety). Year 2 of the HNC was particularly challenging because of COVID 19. Lectures and exams were moved to online leaving the responsibility to Rhys to prioritise revision sessions alongside working full time within General Dynamics.
Commenting on his award, Rhys said “I couldn’t believe it when they announced I had won. I am so pleased. I applied for an apprenticeship because this was the best route for me to further my knowledge in the industry without attending a full-time programme at university. Not only was I looking to improve my knowledge, but I was also keen to get exposure and experience from on the job working that apprenticeships offer.
General Dynamics has several companies in Spain and one of the key aspects of my training was being able to take part in the college Erasmus programme, where I spent two weeks of industry work experience in northern Spain. This programme increased my experience and confidence greatly and helped me overcome the language barriers. This was particularly useful when I travelled to Trubia in Northern Spain with my company, to investigate quality issues with parts we were being delivered by one of our main suppliers.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at college, with Tydfil Training and with General Dynamics. The apprenticeship programme has definitely helped me become a confident well rounded employee with the ability to handle any situation that may arise on a daily basis.”
Bina Taylor, HR representative at General Dynamics, commented “I am delighted for Rhys. Over the course of his apprenticeship at General Dynamics he has made numerous contributions in his role. With the apprenticeship programme being the first in Merthyr site, there has been a big learning curve to overcome, not just for apprentices but also for the supporting functions. Rhys managed this positively in completing his apprenticeship as well as in work. Regardless of the tasks given to Rhys, he is always a very positive and confident individual and always completes work to a high standard and on time whether it be shop floor support or documentation generation.
He has deservedly been promoted to Engineering Technician where he will now pick up additional responsibilities that this role brings.”
Paul Gray, Chief Executive at Tydfil Training, stated “I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Rhys. We are all so very proud of him. The College and Tydfil Training Consortium are committed to working together with local employers and organisations to provide appropriate and relevant industry training and apprenticeship programmes and Rhys' achievement showcases the success of these programmes and how they can make a difference."