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Gor 2024 / Company

It was second time lucky at this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru for inspirational Chris Hughes, as he was named Work-based Learning Tutor of the Year.

Chris, 55, from Maesycwmmer, Caerphilly, who works for ACT Training, collected the accolade at the annual awards ceremony held at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on October 20. Last year, he was a finalist.

The awards ceremony brought together the cream of learners, employers and training providers across Wales, who had excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships, Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeship programmes. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Thirty-three star learners, employers and learning providers involved in the delivery of a range of successful skills programmes across Wales were shortlisted for the prestigious awards, jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). The awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.

“On a scale of one to 10 of how pleased I am, it has to be 10,” said a delighted Chris, after receiving the award. “I am overwhelmed and this has to be the high point of my career. It’s the ultimate accolade for a trainer such as me.

“I think the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru are very important because people and companies need to be recognised for their achievements.

“The award gives me confidence that what I am doing is working and having a real impact on apprentices and the people I work with in general. I absolutely love my job. It is very motivational when learners achieve their apprenticeships but even more motivational when they adapt their learning and become better leaders and people because of my teaching.”

A Leadership and Management (ILM) tutor, Chris has worked for award-winning learning provider ACT Training for nearly four years and is highly valued team member. He has more than 20 years’ experience in training and development, which began with Iceland Frozen Foods and also gained valuable leadership and management experience with Tesco and Superdrug.

Holder of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, he has recently achieved his Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring qualification and is now aiming for the ILM Level 7 in Coaching and Mentoring.

He has written a Management Academy programme for ACT and a Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring programme, both of which are to be launched imminently and is working closely with Dave Tee, senior lecturer in occupational psychology at The University of South Wales, on aspects of ‘group coaching’.

His primary role is to design and deliver training workshops, mark assignments and provides one-to-one support to 180 learners spread across South Wales. He tailors plans and targets from the learner’s perspective, is flexible to the needs of employers and produces videos to help learners on ACT Training’s online learning platform. 

Passionate about continual learning, he uses a vast range of teaching styles including iPad activities, Lego and discussion group tasks.

Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science Julie James congratulated Chris, the other award winners and the shortlisted finalists. “We are proud to be delivering one of the most successful apprenticeship programmes in Europe with success rates in Wales remaining well above 80 per cent,” she said.

“Developing skilled people is vital for our economy. We have some truly exceptional apprentices here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements. Equally important are the learning providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their apprentices.”