The Celtic Collection, comprising a luxury resort, hotels and lodges across South Wales, has just enrolled its 100th active apprentice with the country’s leading provider of apprenticeships to the hospitality industry.

Daniel Wright, 21, who works at The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, has the distinction of becoming The Celtic Collection’s centurion apprentice, by enrolling onto a Foundation Apprenticeship in Professional Cookery with Cambrian Training Company.

Daniel Wright, Cambrian Training Company’s 100th apprentice at The Celtic Collection.

“Becoming an apprentice chef has been a transformative journey,” said Daniel. “The excitement of being the 100th apprentice fuels my passion even more. Together, we’re cooking up a future filled with endless possibilities.

“With determination and support from my amazing team, inspiring managers and the guidance of my training officer Will Richards, I’m confident in successfully completing my apprenticeship.”


The Celtic Collection comprises 10 venues, including the flagship Celtic Manor Resort, International Convention Centre Wales, Coldra Court Hotel, Tŷ Hotel Magor, Tŷ Hotel Milford Waterfront and The Parkgate Hotel, Cardiff.

Apprenticeships delivered by Cambrian Training Company are prioritised to train and develop the workforce of over 1,600 employees across the group.

The Celtic Collection’s Celtic Pathways programme has enhanced staff skills, motivation and retention by giving all existing employees and new recruits the opportunity to work towards a qualification. Apprenticeships are a key part of this programme.


Award-winning training provider Cambrian Training Company plays a key role in delivering accredited apprenticeships, from Level 2 to Level 5, in Hospitality, Professional Cookery, Leadership and Management, Customer Service and Business Administration, AAT Accounting as well as (BIIAB) British Institute of Inn keeping qualifications.

The company’s training officers work with apprentices across the group, from the kitchen, culinary and front of house teams to staff working in human resources, accounts, maintenance and spas.

The Celtic Collection offers a range of initiatives to recruit, engage and empower employees to create their own career paths, upskill and achieve recognised qualifications to grow their career.


Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “Apprenticeships can help futureproof, motivate and diversify a workforce by providing people with the opportunity to gain high-quality vocational skills. They are also crucial to our ambitious vision for a Wales where no one is held back.

“It’s excellent news that The Celtic Collection are celebrating their 100th apprentice and have seen the valuable role apprenticeships play in developing staff skills, motivating and retaining staff.  As the 100th apprentice, I wish Daniel well in his future career.” 


Tracy Israel, The Celtic Collection’s director of talent and development, said: “Apprenticeships are a critical part of our talent development and management philosophy. We are focused on looking after the talent already within the business as well as the talent we recruit. 

“The challenge we have within hospitality is attracting people into the industry. When we recruit people, we want to retain them by providing key opportunities to develop both professionally and personally. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to do this.

“We are reliant on ensuring that we have the right people in the right jobs, with the right skills and competencies; in order to deliver the best guest experience.

“We have some amazing apprentices within the business who act as apprenticeship ambassadors, which has resulted in employees now approaching us asking to do qualifications rather than the business having to encourage them.”

Praising the partnership with pan-Wales training provider Cambrian Training Company, she added: “They feel like part of the family and I sometimes have to remind myself that they are actually an independent company.

“Because of our longstanding partnership, they understand our needs so well, which is critical. We believe that we are quite unique in the hospitality industry in being a privately owned, family business with core values which are replicated by Cambrian Training. There is a real synergy between both parties.

“I love Cambrian Training Company’s ‘can do’ attitude and the fact that they come to me with ideas of how they can help the business, which is a major plus point.”


Cambrian Training Company’s business development officer, Rob Hookham, works closely with Tracy and is delighted to have enrolled all of the 100 apprentices at The Celtic Collection.

“This milestone showcases the immense potential of apprenticeships as a viable and rewarding career pathway,” he said. “The significance of this achievement extends beyond the numbers; it symbolises the triumph of determination, resilience and the power of collaboration.

“By combining practical, hands-on experience with theoretical learning, apprenticeships offer a unique opportunity for individuals to develop their skills, gain industry-specific knowledge and embark on a fulfilling career journey.

“This could not be done without all the training officers at Cambrian Training Company, which has not only succeeded in fostering a culture of excellence and professionalism, but has also established a strong network of support and mentorship.

“The apprentices, through their collective efforts, have created a vibrant community of learners, each supporting and inspiring one another to reach greater heights.”


The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Header Image caption:

A small group of the 100 apprentices alongside The Celtic Collection colleagues, including director of talent and development Tracy Israel and Cambrian Training Company’s training officers (left to right) Jane Gammon, Scott Morgan, Craig Bennett and Rob Hookham.