The future of the construction industry was celebrated at an event last week, when the hard work of some of the most skilled and talented apprentices from across the region were recognised at an awards ceremony.

The Swansea Bay Construction Support Group’s inaugural awards ceremony took place on 20 June at the Village Hotel, Swansea to support and recognise the achievements of new entrants, apprentices and future talent within the construction industry in the south Wales region.

The awards ceremony, which was hosted by Swansea legend Kev Johns and included a three-course meal, was also part of an overall objective to promote the construction industry’s image and showcase the benefits of considering the construction industry as a career path, and what skills individuals can gain from this profession.

The evening saw awards presented to nominated apprentices from member companies of the Swansea Bay Construction Support Group, including: ASW Property Services; John Weaver; Cyfle Building Skills; Hale Construction; Craftsman Flooring and V&C (SW). There was also awards given to the Best Overall Apprentice and Best New Apprentice – won by Sam Barraby from Craftsman Flooring and Nathan Airy from V&C (SW) Ltd.

The awards ceremony was sponsored by AB Glass, Peter Lynn & Partners and Barry Training Services, who presented awards to all the winners on the evening, along with Councillor Andrea Lewis – cabinet minister for homes and energy.

Anthony Thomas, chairman of the Swansea Bay Construction Support Group, said:

“The awards evening was a fantastic success – it brought young talent together to be recognised for all of their hard work and dedication to the industry. We must celebrate these successes and support their journey. Our apprentices are just as responsible as our fully trained staff members for keeping the homes and buildings of our customers safe, and we are thankful to them for choosing the construction industry as a career path.”

“The Swansea Bay Construction Support Group Awards has allowed us to not only reward the hard working and dedicated apprentices who work for our members but has also allowed us to spread the word and positivity about the opportunities available to other young individuals who are weighing up their options.”

Gemma Mineur, training officer at Swansea Bay Construction Support Group, comments:

“It was a pleasure to organise the first Swansea Bay Construction Support Group Awards to showcase the achievements of local people beginning one of many career paths available in the construction industry. We look forward to next year’s awards to again welcome and celebrate future talent within the industry.”

During the evening, nearly £3000 was raised for local charity Hands Up for Downs through an auction and raffle. This support group brings families, parents, carers and children with Down Syndrome together to share advice and support, and as a group ensure that children living with Down Syndrome are given access to services they need.

Sam Fisher, a founding member and trustee of Hands Up for Downs, said:

“At Hands up for Downs, our main mission is to bring together families with children who have Down Syndrome across the Swansea Bay area, ensuring they are united and supported, promoting inclusion and raising awareness so that our children can flourish.”

“We are extremely appreciative of the Swansea Bay Construction Support Group for choosing our charity to raise funds for during the evening and would like to thank everyone who donated on the evening. These funds will go towards continuing to provide support for our members and their families, ensuring children with Down Syndrome are given access to the services they need to ensure they reach their full potential.”

Councillor Andrea Lewis, cabinet member for homes and energy, said:

“Swansea is open for business. It’s a hugely exciting time with an incredible amount of development opportunities including the 3,500-seater indoor Arena, Phases 1 and 2 of the City Centre Regeneration and major development in more homes across the City.

“This is why events such as this are so important, supporting and encouraging young apprentices who are our future workforce.

“I was delighted to support the Swansea Bay Construction Support Group Awards evening. It was great to see so many local businesses and organisations coming together to support the growth of local talent in construction skills across the whole sector.”

Seren Global Media