A YOUNG learner has been described as a “model apprentice” by his peers and through hard work and continuous learning he is focussed on becoming a role model for young apprentices.

Ethan Davies, 22, has blossomed through vocational education and matured into a key member of staff at Electroimpact UK Ltd, in Hawarden.

Now he has been named a finalist in this year’s Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards in Wales, designed to reward individuals and organisations for their commitment, hard work and achievements.

The awards ceremony will be held at The Exchange Hotel, Cardiff on May 3 to coincide with VQ Day. The awards are organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), ColegauCymru /CollegesWales and Qualifications Wales.

A VQ Learner of the Year - Higher finalist, Ethan 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.

“If I get this award it will allow me to be an icon that young people can look up to and strive to achieve what I have in the past few years.”

His learning has already reaped dividends for Electroimpact UK Ltd.

“Ethan returned from a training course that was organised by the Welsh Government and reprogrammed 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.”

The VQ Learner Awards recognise learners who clearly demonstrate progression and excellence in vocational studies and have made considerable achievements in their field.

In addition to the award ceremony, learning providers across Wales are being encouraged to organise regional events that engage with learners of all ages on VQ Day.

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 said: “A VQ award is a symbol of dedication towards a chosen profession, demonstrating to others a real commitment towards personal and professional development.

“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.