IT and initiative key to Craig’s success

Posted on by karen.smith

A young Bridgend man using his previously untapped skills in IT to develop a career has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Craig Wadley is one of 36 finalists in 13 categories of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2013, organised jointly by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). He is shortlisted for the Jobs Growth Wales Outstanding Achiever of the Year award.

Craig Wadley, using untapped skills in IT.

The awards recognise the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality apprenticeships and other work-based learning programmes across Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with the support of the European Social Fund.

The winners will be announced at a high profile awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Friday, October 18.

Craig joined Ludlow Street Healthcare (LSH) in Cardiff as an office junior through Jobs Growth Wales, supported by training provider Babcock International.

He quickly proved himself and his excellent IT skills were spotted and put into practice when the company started a new e-learning system for its 1,000 plus staff. Craig, 22, was also given the opportunity to create, design and develop courses himself.

“Craig was extremely enthusiastic about e-learning and how it could be made more interactive,” said his manager, Joanna Millichip-Sweet. “He used his initiative to create a storyboard about a new course that he presented to our directors. They liked it so much they offered him an apprenticeship with the company.”

Craig had previously been a shy and anxious young man but by now his confidence had grown and he was chosen to meet with former Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Jeff Cuthbert, to talk about Jobs Growth Wales and how it had benefited him.

“I did well in school but after leaving couldn’t find a permanent job,” said Craig. “I was unemployed for almost two years and lost a lot of confidence.

“But things have totally changed for me. I absolutely love my job and I’m so much more confident. I’m very grateful for the opportunity Jobs Growth Wales provided and for the investment LSH is putting into me.”

Craig’s is now being supported by LSH to do further training and is hoping to be a qualified first aid trainer by the end of the year.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates said: “The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru remind us of the incredible wealth of talent that Wales has to offer and the outstanding achievements of Wales’ learners, employers and learning providers.

“Apprenticeships play an integral role in our economy. Not only do they provide essential skills and qualifications, but are in themselves life-changing opportunities for young people and, for employers, a major investment that’s paying real dividend to their bottom line and in the skills of their workforce.

“We know that apprenticeships deliver real business benefits and that’s why the Welsh Government, with support from the European Social Fund, continues to invest heavily in opportunities for young people to take up apprenticeships and continues to support employers who want to invest in the future of their workforce.

“Through their passion and dedication, the finalists announced at this year’s awards will inspire countless others to strive for excellence and demonstrate the tremendous impact that vocational training can have. I wish all of our finalists the very best as they continue to make great contributions in their chosen fields.”

Showcasing excellence in skills development in Wales, the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC with support from media partner, Media Wales.

More than 300 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales are expected to attend the high profile awards ceremony, where guests will dine out with chefs from the Welsh National Culinary Team.

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