Small North Wales family business Lelo Skip Hire, which has seen its turnover double since recruiting its first apprentice four years ago, is in the running for a prestigious national award.
Oswyn Jones, who runs the Corwen-based company, took on his 16-year-old son Daniel initially on the Jobs Growth Wales programme in 2014.
Daniel has since progressed from a Foundation Apprenticeship in Sustainable Resource Management to his current Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Systems and Operations Management with support from Welshpool-based learning provider Cambrian Training Company.
As Daniel’s knowledge and skills have increased, so too has the company’s customers. Turnover has increased by 195% as a direct result of his knowledge about treatment technologies, duty of care regulations and environmental policy which has allowed the company to complete more jobs.
Now Lelo Skip Hire has been shortlisted for this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. The company will be competing to become Small Employer of the Year at the awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on November 9.
The annual 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.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the coveted awards are supported by media partner, Media Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Thirty star employers, learners and learning providers from across Wales have been shortlisted for the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.
Lelo Skip Hire, which has two employees, provides a skip hire delivery and collection service across North East Wales and has plans for a licensed site to recycle the waste that the company collects.
“Having our own site would make us a fully functioning recycling centre and is our ultimate goal and objective,” said Oswyn. “Our son had always wanted to join the family business and we were keen for him to continue to learn and apply his learning to the business to help us grow.
“We saw the Apprenticeship Programme as the ideal training and development tool for both Daniel and the business. When we are in the position to open our recycling site and employ further staff, we will be embedding Apprenticeships into this new part of the business.”
Oswyn praised the company’s “fantastic” partnership with Cambrian Training Company. Lelo Skip Hire was named Small Employer of the Year in the learning provider’s annual awards earlier this year.
Heather Martin, Cambrian Training Company’s business unit head, said:
“Lelo Skip Hire shows what amazing things can be achieved with just one apprentice.”
Congratulating Lelo Skip Hire on being shortlisted for an award, Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan said: “Apprenticeship Awards Cymru showcase the success of the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeships and Traineeships Programmes and the achievements of our star apprentices, employers, learning providers and trainees.
“Apprenticeships are a great way for individuals to gain valuable skills and experience while earning a wage and for employers to ensure their workforce has the skills to future proof a business.
“Increasing higher level skills and developing skills pathways that benefit the whole of Wales have never been more important.”