CAVC apprentice Sam following in his dad's footsteps in the gas industry

2 Oct 2017

Ever since his father took part in a ‘bring a dad to school day’, Sam Jones has wanted to follow in his footsteps and become a gas engineer, helping to keep the public safe.

Sam, 32, who lives in Graig, Pontypridd, took a pay cut by giving up his previous “dead end” job to become a build and replace apprentice with Wales & West Utilities. His apprenticeship in Gas Network Construction Operations is being delivered by Utilise T.D.S. Limited for Cardiff and Vale College.

Now he has been recognised as one of Wales’ star learners by being shortlisted for this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. He will be competing to become Foundation Apprentice of the Year at the prestigious awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on October 20.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the coveted awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.

Thirty star learners, employers and learning providers involved in the delivery of successful skills programmes across Wales have been shortlisted for the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

The awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the outstanding achievements of learners, employers, tutors and assessors who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships and Apprenticeship programmes.

In addition to learning the skills of the trade, Sam has created ‘Sam the Sniffer Dog’, a retro-fit design cover for carbon monoxide home alarms to raise public awareness of the silent killer.

He also wrote and presented a paper on the topic to the Institute of Gas Engineers and Management and has spoken at shows, to companies and in his local community.

As a result of his work, which has also included making a video of emergency gas repair work, Sam has received Ambassador and Rising Star Awards from Wales & West Utilities.

He said: “I was never looking at my apprenticeship as short term, as I want to be within this industry for life. Working in a fast paced, challenging and ever-evolving industry, I am now with a company that demands the very best standards.”

Sarah Hopkins, Wales & West Utilities’ people and engagement director, said: “It’s very satisfying for us and good news for customers and our business that Sam is already going above and beyond to help us keep our customers safe.”

Praising the standard of applicants this year and congratulating Sam on being shortlisted for an award, Skills and Science Minister, Julie James said: “This year’s shortlisted entrants include exceptional individuals who have excelled in their workplace and learning providers and employers that have gone the extra mile to support the apprentices they are working with. Their stories never cease to amaze and inspire.

“Apprenticeships and vocational skills training are essential ingredients of economic success and vital tools in building a stronger, fairer and more equal Wales.

“These awards provide a perfect platform to celebrate success and reward the hard work and dedication of learners, employers and training providers across Wales. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the night.”