International Women’s Day: How Cambrian Training have been supporting women in the workplace

International Women's Day

March 8th  is International Women’s Day (IWD) and this year the theme  is Inspire Inclusion. As an equal opportunity employer, inclusion is at the heart of everything we do, offering a fair and inclusive workplace environment where everyone, regardless of their gender, ability, or ethnicity, feel supported and inspired to thrive.

Cambrian Training have 2,227 apprentices on programme and currently 63% of our apprentices are women. To celebrate International Women’s Day we are highlighting some of our amazing female apprentices in Cambrian Training Company.

Gabbi Wilson and Toyah Skilton are apprentice chefs at Chartists 1770 at the Trewythen, run by Cambrian Training Company, in Llanidloes.  Gabbi is currently completing her Level 3 Diploma in Professional Cookery and Toyah has completed her Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery.

18-year-old Gabbi Wilson credited her apprenticeship with providing her with many  invaluable life experiences. “Through my apprenticeship I’ve gained a lot confidence in myself and also my abilities and performance as a chef.  Even though I’ve been doing my apprenticeship for under a year, I feel as if I’ve learned a lot more than I thought I would,” she said.

The training and experience she’s gained working as an apprentice chef in a working restaurant has given her the confidence to experience some amazing opportunities. Last year she  delivered her first public cooking demonstration, preparing chocolate cremeux at the Mid Wales Autumn Fayre in front of a packed audience at the Royal Welsh Showground.  In January with the support of her fellow apprentice workmate, Rosie Koffer, she entered and won the first Green Chef Challenge at the Welsh International Culinary Championships, designing and preparing a three-course vegetarian menu judged gold standard by the Culinary Association of Wales judges.  She was also selected to be in the Culinary Association of Wales’ team of chefs to prepare canapés for the Prime Minister’s St. David’s Day Reception at Number 10.

Toyah’s culinary journey started from humble beginnings working as a pot wash. This is where her love for cooking began and she started working at the Trewythen every Friday whilst still at school. Her determination  to join the hospitality industry was rewarded when she was selected by the restaurant to train full time for her Level 2 Professional Cookery Apprenticeship.  Toyah said: “It [the apprenticeship] has helped me to improve my skills and has taught me new cooking techniques and how to make new things.”

Last year, she had the opportunity to be part of the team to make canapés served at a Welsh Food & Drink showcase in London.  She is excited to be successfully completing her Level 2 and progressing onto her Level 3 Professional Cookery as she continues her culinary career.

Toyah and Gabbi’s Training Officer at Cambrian Training Company, Will Richards, is incredibly pleased with his learners and their progress.  He said: “I’m extremely proud that Gabbi has taken up the opportunities presented to her.  She’s been able to network with leading professionals in the hospitality industry and the experience she’s gained, feeling the strength and power the white jacket can provide is invaluable.

“And Toyah being keen to progress further onto a Level 3 apprenticeship without the question even being asked is a testament to Toyah’s attitude and mindset!”

Cambrian Training also have three female apprentices in their  Quality Assurance team:  Clare Stafford,  Kirsty Broomfield, and Hollie Bumford, who are pivotal in ensuring compliance and accuracy with learner records.

When Clare Stafford first joined the team at Cambrian Training, she worked as an administration officer and receptionist. Whilst working in this role, she began doing her Level 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration.

Clare said: “I found the apprenticeship really beneficial as it has allowed me to gain the skills and knowledge I need to progress in my job role.”

Similarly, Kirsty Broomfield held a previous job before joining Cambrian Training and undertook her Level 3 apprenticeship to help her adapt to her new position within the administration team before progressing to a Level 4 Business Administration apprenticeship.

Kirsty said: “I’m currently half way through completing my Level 4 Business Administration qualification and I’m really enjoying it and learning so many new skills that I can apply to my job.”

It was after completing these apprenticeships with Cambrian Training that the two were able to join the busy Quality Assurance team.

23-year-old Hollie Bumford has been with the company for 6 years and has completed a total of 4 different apprenticeships whilst progressing through the company. Hollie has completed a level 3 and Level 4 apprenticeship in Business Administration and a Level 3 and Level 4 in Customer Service, which have given her the ability to better support and communicate with Cambrian Training staff and our subcontractors.

Like her colleagues, Hollie has found success as a result of her apprenticeship. At the end of February this year, Hollie was given the role of Team Leader for the Quality Assurance team whilst the current Manager is on maternity leave. She said: “My Level 4 qualification has helped me gain the skills and knowledge for my new job role and I’m excited for this new challenge in my career.”

Their Training Officer, Heather Parry, told us how happy she is to see them succeeding and progressing in their careers. She said: “I’ve had the privilege of working alongside them through their apprenticeships where I’ve witnessed their knowledge and understanding of the industry and their improved confidence which will allow them to progress in their careers going forward.”

Through dedication and hard work these apprentices are succeeding in their careers and we are proud to showcase their success. We look forward to seeing what they achieve in the future.

To discover how an apprenticeship can support your career ambitions click here. And to discover more about International Women’s Day and this year’s campaign, click here.