Apprenticeship award winner Laura has a passion for learning and teamwork

Team leader Laura Chapman’s passion for learning has been rewarded with a coveted national award.

Laura, who works for MotoNovo Finance in Cardiff, was named Apprentice of the Year at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2024 awards ceremony held at ICC Wales, Newport.

The 21-year-old former Maesteg School pupil joined the car finance and loan company on a fixed term 18 month contract as a 17-year-old after choosing to earn and learn on an apprenticeship, transformed her from a shy teenager to a confident team leader.

She quickly progressed from a Level 2 BTEC Diploma in Professional Competence for IT Professionals to an Apprenticeship in IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professional, an ITIL Version 4 Certificate and now an ILM Level 3 in Management with ALS Training.

Highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTFW).

Headline sponsor this year was EAL, specialist skills partner and awarding organisation for industry. The awards highlight the outstanding achievements of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.

“I am so happy and proud that I want to cry,” said an emotional Laura, after receiving her award. “This award is quite personal because it means that I am good enough.

“I have had lots of self-doubts about my ability but this now shows me that I am good and can actually achieve things in my career. I have had amazing support and have an incredible manager.”

Speaking about her learning journey, Laura added: “For each qualification, I’ve been able to apply the learning directly to my role straight away. They go hand in hand, so it makes sense to continue learning. I’ve already set my sights on a Higher Apprenticeship in Management!

“I share my story with my team and tell them how useful apprenticeships are to develop your knowledge, skills and career.”

The knowledge and skills she has gained have boosted her confidence to lead a team of eight analysts, to resolve IT issues for more customers and to positively impact the business.

Shortly after her promotion to team leader, she slashed a backlog by introducing a dashboard to prioritise incoming work. She has also introduced steps to improve staff morale and performance and boosted productivity by 50% by encouraging team members to collaborate and generate ideas.

Laura is also working with the company’s talent development staff and ALS Training to promote apprenticeships to her team.
Al Parkes, managing director at EAL, said: “I would like to congratulate not just the winners of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, but all the employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners who were nominated.
“Showcasing their achievements is important as it inspires more people to consider apprenticeships and encourages more employers to take on apprentices.”

Chief Executive of the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research, Simon Pirotte OBE, said: “I want to congratulate all the finalists and winners. Stories like theirs drive home the high impact that apprenticeships can have, helping people to find fulfilling employment and contributing to Wales’ skills system. They will be a crucial part of the newly founded Commission for Tertiary Education and Research.”

For more information about recruiting an apprentice, visit: https://gov.wales/apprenticeships-genius-decision or call 03000 603000.