Awards finalist Rhys aiming for a career in caring

Posted on by karen.smith

Rhys Pugh with senior development officer Carol Sargeant and senior care officer Andrew Williams at Coleshill Day Centre, Llanelli.

Rhys Pugh with senior development officer Carol Sargeant and senior care officer Andrew Williams at Coleshill Day Centre, Llanelli.

Rhys Pugh has had to overcome life-changing difficulties as he follows his dream to become a professional carer.

Four years ago, his mum Paula died, aged 34, leaving Rhys and his younger sister Ffion to be brought up by his father and step mum. Aged 13, it hit Rhys particularly hard, affecting his school work and he still hasn’t fully got over her death.

But he has found his career path through Coleg Sir Gâr, starting with an engagement programme before completing a Level 1 NVQ certificate in Customer Service and moving on in September to start a two-year Health and Social Care Level 3 NVQ.

Now Rhys, from Pontyberem, Llanelli, has been shortlisted for the Traineeship Learner of the Year (Level 1) Award at this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which take place at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on October 20.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the prestigious awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals, employers and learning providers who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships, Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeship programmes. The 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.

Through the college, Rhys undertook a successful work placement at the Co-Op in Crosshands before taking up a placement at Coleshill Day Centre in Llanelli. He puts his new-found confidence down to the support of college staff and the managers at Coleshill where he has built up excellent relationships with staff and service users.

“The managers at Coleshill have been brilliant,” he said. “Apart from a placement and a summer job, they have now offered me a placement when I go back to college.”

Coleg Sir Gâr training adviser Nicola Julian said: “Through hard work and commitment, Rhys is moving forward to realising his ambition to be a carer. He is caring, helpful and kind and the managers at Coleshill believe he will go far.”

Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science Julie James congratulated Rhys and the other 32 shortlisted award finalists. “We are proud to be delivering one of the most successful vocational training programmes with success rates for apprenticeships in Wales remaining well above 80 per cent,” she said.

“Developing skilled people is vital for our economy. We have some truly exceptional learners here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements. Equally important are the learning providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their learners.”

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