@BridgendCollege Apprentice Owen Lloyd’s mission is to become the best civil engineer possible as he strives to provide flooding solutions for the people of Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Owen, 23, from Coed y Cwm, Pontypridd, works for the Flood Risk Management Team at Rhondda Cynon Taf Borough Council.
He completed a Level 3 BTEC in Construction and the Built Environment (Civil Engineering) course with distinction at Bridgend College, finishing his apprenticeship within a year - half the expected time. His has now begun a HNC Level 4, ultimately aiming to qualify as a Chartered Civil Engineer.
Owen hopes to become a qualified Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) technician (EngTech) after being awarded an ICE Quest Scholarship and winning the Association for Public Service Excellence Highways and Street Lighting Apprentice of the Year Award last October.
Now he is in the running for the Apprentice of the Year award at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on April 29.
This annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships will see 35 finalists compete in 12 categories for awards.
Highlight of the work-based learning calendar, the awards showcase businesses and individuals who have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes and gone the extra mile to achieve success during these unprecedented times.
The awards are jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Openreach, the UK’s digital network business and passionate supporter of apprenticeships, has renewed its headline sponsorship of the awards.
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Owen began his apprenticeship with the council in September 2018, with the intention of rotating between different departments. However, he impressed so much in his first post that he secured a full-time technician’s role with the Flood Risk Management Team in just months.
Using computer-aided design skills, he has provided solutions to many potential flooding risks, including one involving a culvert in Treherbert. He has experienced 25 flood events, most notably Storm Dennis, and has supervised teams working on flood response and recovery actions in the Pentre area.
Owen said: “I carry out my work to the highest standard to provide the best service possible not only to my employer but also to members of the public who rely on my work to keep them and their families safe during storms.
“Being given the opportunity to learn whilst earning through the Apprenticeship Programme has massively built my confidence and encouraged me to push for the best outcome possible both in my education and for my career.”
Owen Griffiths, the council’s flood, water and tip risk manager, said Owen excels at his job, is always keen to learn new skills and is an asset to the team.
Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said: “Our Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes are helping people fulfil their career ambitions and I’m delighted we have already reached our target of creating 100,000 apprenticeships in this Senedd term.
“This has been key in helping apprentices of all ages to gain important skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need. This will be vital as we emerge from the pandemic.
“Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of all involved, from star apprentices to skilled learning providers.
“I’d like to congratulate all the finalists announced for this year's event and wish each and every one all the best for the future.”