Apprentices with leading pharmaceutical outsourcing services provider PCI Pharma Services have scooped plaudits in the recent Aspire Blaenau Gwent Shared Apprenticeship Programme Awards 2017 in Tredegar.

PCI’s ongoing commitment to the next generation was also recognised, with a runner-up award as Host Employer of the Year – having been put forward for this special title by two of its apprentices: Rhys Phillips and Macauley Webber.

In addition, the PCI apprentices congratulated with awards were:

• Rhys Phillips – for completing his second year with PCI, and who has now started to further his undergraduate studies at Cardiff University (BSc Chemistry)

• Macauley Webber and George Lohfink – for completing their first year of the apprenticeship program with PCI.

PCI’s own accolade in the Aspire Blaenau Gwent Awards was presented following its nomination by both McCauley and Rhys. In putting forward PCI, McCauley cited the support given to him over the past year under the guidance of his mentor and manager, Colin Easter.

Colin attended the event alongside McCauley, and collected the PCI award in his capacity as site systems manager, supply chain.

He said: “We have been delighted to see McCauley, like all of our apprentices, go from strength to strength here at PCI. We hope that their time with us gives them invaluable experience for their future careers, equipping them with both practical and professional skills that will continue to serve them well over the years ahead. We feel honored to have the opportunity to give something back for the next generation entering the workforce.”

PCI recently welcomed Chloe Paget, who joined the company in September at the start of her three-year apprenticeship under the Aspire Blaenau Gwent scheme. Chloe is the latest to join PCI’s growing team of apprentices alongside Lauren Davies and Jack Wilson, part of the University of South Wales’ Network 75 scheme.

The international organisation, which has four core EU sites has ambitions to take on more young people as apprentices in the future, reflecting its long-term commitment to developing talent in the local areas.

The Shared Apprenticeship scheme in Blaenau Gwent began in 2014 as a strategic project to enhance skills development within manufacturing and engineering companies for business growth, while also tackling unemployment and providing aspirational opportunities for young people across the local area. This worthwhile initiative is supported by a number of partners – including Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone, Education, Industry and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council – as well as host companies such as PCI.

The awards provides an annual opportunity to celebrate those apprentices who have passed their first and/or second year, as well as new apprentices joining the initiative in September 2017.

PCI was one of the founding companies behind the initiative and is justifiably proud of its ongoing commitment. PCI’s director supply chain Aldyth Smith said: “PCI’s Tredegar site is one of a number of companies that came together to initiate this scheme more than three years ago. We are delighted that it has since flourished and there are now 15 employers involved with more than 50 apprentices, of which PCI currently has four. Overall, we have a total of six apprentices within our workforce from across the two schemes, all valued members of the team here at PCI.

“We regard our apprenticeships as key parts of our strategy to develop future management and leadership talent both at PCI and beyond over the long-term. We are very pleased to support each of our apprentices and to be working with them. We wish them every success in the years to come.”