A determined young lady who has overcome many knockbacks on the way to becoming a valued member of St Aubin Nursery in Cowbridge celebrated success at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru final.
Emily Wintle, 18, from Llanharry, was named Traineeship Learner of the Year (Level 1) at the prestigious awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Friday night.
“This award means absolutely everything to me,” she said. “A lot of things happened to me at school, including the loss of my best friend, which knocked my confidence down.
This really proves that when you put your mind to something, you can achieve your ambition.
“I would like to thank St Aubin Nursery for giving me the opportunity to achieve this award. I couldn’t ask for a better employer and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.”
Emily’s award sponsor, Caroline Cooksley, development director at ACT Limited, congratulated her on her success. “Emily has started her learner journey on an exceptional footing at such a young age and I look forward to seeing her career develop further over the next couple of years,” she said.
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. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Thirty star learners, employers and learning providers involved in the delivery of successful skills programmes across Wales were shortlisted for awards.
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.
With Emily’s hard work and the support of ACT Training in Bridgend, she completed her Level 1 Childcare Traineeship in a record time of three months with both the trainer and her employer understanding her difficulties.
Severely dyslexic and requiring a lot of extra support to learn new skills, Emily was statemented throughout school, where she was stigmatised for having learning difficulties and felt isolated which affected her self-esteem and confidence.
Despite a lot of hard work and pressure, Emily struggled to gain the four GCSEs she needed for a college course in her dream career of musical theatre. After lots of knockbacks with employers not understanding her needs, Emily found herself a placement in childcare and has not looked back.
She is now working full time and undertaking a Foundation Apprenticeship in Childcare, with an Apprenticeship pencilled in for next year.
Emily added: “Hard work and dedication has paid off. I am more determined than ever to reach my goal of becoming a nursery nurse.”
Congratulating Emily on the award, Skills and Science Minister, Julie James said: “Each finalist has helped to set a gold standard in vocational training and this should be applauded.
“Apprenticeships and Traineeships are an essential ingredient of economic success and a vital tool in building a stronger, fairer and more equal Wales. The Welsh Government, with support from the European Social Fund, regards Apprenticeships and Traineeships as an excellent way to build a skilled and competitive workforce, address skills shortages and strengthen the Welsh economy.
“Increasing higher level skills and developing skills pathways that benefit the whole of Wales has never been more important and we are committed to continuing the good work already underway with businesses, training providers and individuals to achieve this.”
The other category finalists were: Joshua O’Leary, Tredegar and Kirsty Redmond, Merthyr Tydfil, whose training provider is Peopleplus, Merthyr Tydfil.