Dyslexia proves no barrier to young entrepreneur

Posted on by karen.smith

An inspirational young entrepreneur who has overcome dyslexia to achieve an Apprenticeship in Fabrication and Welding has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Gavin Zembrzuski, 23, from Howey, near Llandrindod Wells, is one of 28 finalists in nine categories of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation Wales (NTfW).

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru recognise the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality Apprenticeships across Wales.

The winners will be announced at a high profile awards presentation ceremony at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Wednesday, October 24, where the winners of the National Training Awards for Wales will also be recognised. The joint awards which will be attended by around 300 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales.

Sponsors of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which aim to showcase excellence in skills development in Wales, are Pearson and Media Wales.

Gavin, a finalist in the Apprenticeship of the Year, established TAG-Z as a subsidiary to his father Andre’s company, Off Road Only Limited, in 2010 and the business has really taken off.

Now employing two people making motorcycle workshop tools and accessories, he has seen sales rocket from 850 products in 2010 to a projected 2,500 this year and is attracting European buyers.

In addition, he undertakes custom, refurbishment and bespoke projects including motorcycles, home and garden products, antiques and motor vehicles.

“I had always thought my dyslexia would hold me back from being a success, but I have now proved that wrong,” said Gavin, who is grateful for the education he received at St David’s College, Llandudno from the age of 11.

Whilst Gavin has excelled at practical work, he has struggled with written work, which has been completed by dictating notes to his sister, Tracie. He did his apprenticeship through Coleg Powys where he also achieved a Foundation Apprenticeship in Performing Engineering Operations.

“The barriers that this young man has overcome in the last three years deserve to be congratulated,” said Coleg Powys’s work based learning co-ordinator Mike Cullen. “He has always been committed to achieving excellence.”

Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes in Wales are funded by the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund.

Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said: “These awards recognise excellence by individuals, employers and learning providers in delivering training. I am delighted with the standard of this year’s finalists and the variety across all ages and sectors, which shows the strength of the skills being delivered in Wales.

“All the finalists have an inspiring story to tell and are great ambassadors for apprenticeship and other programmes in Wales.

“The skills acquired through programmes, such as Apprenticeships, provide great benefits to individuals and employers, helping make Welsh businesses more competitive.

“The Welsh Government is committed to creating more apprenticeship opportunities for young people in Wales and continuing to support employers who are willing to offer high quality apprenticeship places.”

The National Training Federation for Wales is a network 108 quality assured work based training providers with links to 35,000 employers across Wales.

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