Kirsty develops confidence to pursue childcare career

Posted on by karen.smith

A teenager, who is working towards a career in childcare thanks to a Traineeship, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Kirsty Bird, 17, from Wrexham, 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 for Wales (NTfW).

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru recognise the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality Apprenticeships and Traineeships across Wales. Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes in Wales are part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

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.

Sponsor of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which aim to showcase excellence in skills development in Wales, is Pearson and media partner is Media Wales.

Kirsty, a finalist in the Traineeships Learner of the Year category, always wanted to work with children but knew she needed to improve her qualifications, as well as get experience in the workplace.

“I didn’t have enough confidence to apply for college or work when I left school,” she said. “I didn’t feel that I had enough qualifications or experience and I also felt that my dyslexia held me back.

“The Traineeship has been brilliant. It’s just so different from school. They treat me like an adult and I feel like I’m learning really useful skills, as well as gaining qualifications, that will help me get a job working with children.”

Kirsty has had work experience placements at a number of local schools and has received excellent feedback for her dedication and the way she builds relationships with children and staff.

She will complete her training with training provider ACT in Wrexham in April 2013, when she hopes to gain a Diploma in Caring for Children before securing a job.

Teleri Jones from ACT said: “Kirsty is so much more confident and outgoing now and is also eager to help others whenever she can. She is a delight to work with and should be recognised as a role model to encourage other young people. She shows that with perseverance you can achieve your goals.”

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 NTfW is a network 116 quality assured work based training providers with links to 35,000 employers across Wales.

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