As a former apprentice herself, Emma Huggins can relate to the young learners in her charge. Working as an assessor for the Business Service department at ACT Training in Cardiff, Emma has a caseload of 40 Business Administration, Customer Service and Retail Foundation Apprentices, many of them in their probationary period.
Emma understands the importance of treating each learner as an individual, finding out what makes them tick and any barriers in the way to their learning journey.
Now she has been shortlisted as one of the work-based learning stars of this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. She will be competing to become Work-based Learning Assessor of the Year at the prestigious awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on October 20.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the coveted awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.
Thirty star learners, employers and learning providers involved in the delivery of successful skills programmes across Wales have been shortlisted for the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.
The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
The awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the outstanding achievements of learners, employers, tutors and assessors who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships and Apprenticeship programmes.
As an avid networker, Emma has built up excellent contacts with local employers, notably Newport City Council where she supervises 10 apprentices. So positive has this been that several are hoping to be given permanent contracts while the council is considering taking on a further intake of apprentices.
Gareth Jones, one of Emma’s successful apprentices, said: “Emma has been a true mentor and has given me a renewed sense of self belief. She goes above and beyond in her support.”
Emma, who lives in Rhoose, said: “Everything I do is for my learners, their wellbeing and their future. I have put so much energy into becoming a trainer, completing my Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance qualification, learning the standards and making myself available 24/7 to support my learners.”
Praising the standard of applicants this year and congratulating Emma on being shortlisted for an award, Skills and Science Minister, Julie James said: “This year’s shortlisted entrants include exceptional individuals who have excelled in their workplace and learning providers and employers that have gone the extra mile to support the apprentices they are working with. Their stories never cease to amaze and inspire.
“Apprenticeships and vocational skills training are essential ingredients of economic success and vital tools in building a stronger, fairer and more equal Wales.
“These awards provide a perfect platform to celebrate success and reward the hard work and dedication of learners, employers and training providers across Wales. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the night.”