Thornton Boswell of Llanelli, won Next Steps in 2012.
The teenager had only just finished his GCSEs when he entered the competition.
“I really didn’t expect to win – I’m really happy. Chances like this don’t come around often for young boys like me!”
Other candidates that took part in 2012 went on to Pathways to Apprenticeship or traditional apprenticeship schemes in the local area.
They were Aled Evans, Craig Rees and Steffan Thomas, all of Llanelli; Aled Jones of Drefach, and Shaun Jones of Ponthenri.
Jamie Owens, of Trimsaran, was crowned winner of Next Steps 2011.
On taking the title, the 20-year-old rugby player said: “I still can’t quite believe it – this is a fantastic start towards building a future for myself and I’m really looking forward to starting work with Lloyd & Gravell.
“The competition was a great experience – everyone on it was awesome and really looked after us. Unfortunately, there were five others who have missed out but we are all winners as we’ve all had a fantastic start to our construction careers.”
Other candidates that took part this year have all been offered placements on Shared Apprenticeship, Pathways to Apprenticeship or traditional apprenticeship schemes in the local area.
They were Gareth John and Eric Meighan, both of Ammanford, Nathan Jenkins, of Llanelli, Darren Thomas, of Trimsaran and Robert Goodman of Cynwyl Elfed.
The Next Steps project was launched in 2010, and was won by 26-year-old Iwan Thomas, from Brynamman.
The dad of two, a former pro-golfer, had never had any previous experience of the building trade, and decided to give it a go to provide a better future for his family.
He is currently progressing well with his apprenticeship at Lloyd and Gravell, and will form part of the interview panel for this year’s competition.
- Vincent Sheenan (L), from Bynea, impressed so much throughout the competition that he was offered an apprenticeship by TRJ Contractors, another Carmarthenshire-based firm. He is now working towards becoming a qualified carpenter. He had previously worked as a labourer.
- William Jones (2nd L), Michael Jones (3rd L) and Liam Griffiths (R) also took part in the Next Steps competition. Although they didn’t win, they impressed the judging panel so much with their commitment and enthusiasm that they were all offered places on Coleg Sir Gar’s Pathways to Apprenticeship scheme. They are nearing the completion of their first year, and are all progressing well. William is hoping to qualify as a carpenter, and Michael and Liam are each working towards a qualification in bricklaying.
Photos: Jeff Connell