Insurance brokerage risk management company and one of Acorn's key clients, Arthur J. Gallagher is celebrating after being named Medium Employer of the Year at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.
The company, which employs 150 people in Llantrisant, Cardiff, Newport and Talbot Green, collected the honour at the prestigious awards ceremony held at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on October 20 and praised its workers for their contribution to the successful business.
Mike Jones, Arthur J Gallagher's Regional Managing Director, said: "we are overwhelmed with the support we have had to be recognised for the work that our tremendous colleagues have put into the business. We are incredibly proud to win this award for investing in our staff."
"The apprenticeship programme allows us to recruit people with no insurance background but who are the right fit for our organisation and in return they gain the technical skills and knowledge they require through a work-based programme.
"Implementing the programme to aid our commitment to enhancing the skills, qualifications and job satisfaction of our workforce has directly contributed to increased revenue and improved customer feedback."
The company began its apprenticeship journey after identifying a skills gap in the market. It realised that many jobseekers who may possess excellent customer service skills did not necessarily have the insurance skills requried for their new customer contact strategy.
In 2010, the company began working with Acorn to address the skills gap. Three different levels of apprenticeships are delivered to new and existing staff, from Foundation to Higher Apprenticeships, offering a range of opportunities that fit within the company's business model.
The company currently has 38 apprentices in Wales and, in the past five years, 74 employees have completed an apprenticeship.
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.
Wales' Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James congratulated Arthur J Galalgher, other award winners and the shortlisted finalists.
She said: "we are proud to be delivering one of the most successful apprenticeship programmes in Europe with success rates in Wales remaining well above 80 percent.
"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."