Engineering apprentice Chrystalla Moreton, described as a “shining star” by her employer, achieved sparkling success at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022.
Chrystalla, 20, from Fairwater, Cardiff, whose ambition is to become a role model for women in the steel industry, won the Tomorrow’s Talent Award.
She is employed by reinforced steel manufacturer Celsa Steel UK where she is working towards an Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship in Production Services delivered by training provider TSW.
Chrystalla was forced to revise her original plan to join the Army following a family tragedy, which took its toll on her mental health. Making up for lost time, she is now determined to fly the flag for female engineers and continue supporting her siblings.
She also wants to show others who are going through a difficult time in their life that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“I feel very privileged and grateful to win the award which is another step in the right direction for what I want to achieve in the future,” she said. “People come across hurdles in their life and I want to show that you can overcome them.
“After being at the lowest point in my life, this award is a massive turnaround. I want to make something of myself by being the best that I can be in the sector and show women that they can do just as well as men.
“The apprenticeship is the best decision I have made because it has given me the opportunity to learn and earn at the same time and to achieve something at the end of it.”
The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru recognises the outstanding achievements, during unprecedented times, of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.
Highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, the awards are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Headline sponsor for the third year is Openreach.
Celsa Steel, which employs 70 apprentices, was impressed by Chrystalla from the outset. The company’s talent manager Richard Davey told the virtual awards ceremony that Chrystalla’s performance and enthusiasm are infectious and she has already been identified for a future role as an apprentice mentor.
Using the 1987 Pinscreen toy as her inspiration, she raised the idea of reinventing and computerising a magnet flatbed at Celsa Steel to make transporting different shapes and sizes of metal bar more efficient and successful.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated Chrystalla and all the other award winners and finalists. “This Welsh Government has ambitious plans to make Wales an engine for sustainable, inclusive growth and give every young person the best possible start in the world of work,” he said.
“I believe apprenticeships are vital to this vision and that’s why we are investing £366 million over the next three years in the delivery of our apprenticeship programme. I am determined we do all we can as a government to help deliver the long-term economic benefits our young people deserve.
“We are a small country but we have big ambitions, and our aim is to foster a culture in Wales where recruiting an apprentice is the norm for employers.”