Nine finalists shortlisted for this year’s VQ Awards in Wales
Nine finalists have been shortlisted for this year’s Vocational Qualification (VQ) awards, which celebrate the achievements of both learners and employers across Wales.
A panel of judges selected six finalists for the VQ Learner of the Year and three for the VQ Employer of the Year, after considering a large number of entries received from across Wales.
The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony to be held at St David’s Hotel, Cardiff on June 9, the eve of VQ Day.
Organised by the Welsh Government’s Department for Education and Skills (DfES), the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) and CollegesWales, the VQ Awards help to showcase individuals and organisations that have raised the standard of the services they offer as a result of vocational qualifications.
The awards, which are part funded by the European Social Fund, are now in their eighth year and coincide with Vocational Qualifications Day – a UK-wide celebration of vocational qualifications for students, teachers, training providers and employers – which is held on June 10.
The VQ Employer of the Year finalists are food manufacturer Dailycer UK from Deeside, children’s nursery Little Inspirations from Llantrisant and hairdressers and barbers Spirit Hair Team from Ystrad Mynach.
Competing for the VQ Learner of the Year award are Casey Coleman, 28, salon artistic director at Ocean Hairdressing, Cardiff; James Pepper, 39 technical services director at Vista Retail Support Ltd, Pentwyn, Cardiff; former Bridgend College learner Michael Whippey, 23, a chief instructor at Shardeloes Farm Equestrian Centre, Amersham; Paul Wiggins, 35, from Cardiff, a chartered insurance broker at BPW Insurance Services, Newport; former Bridgend College learner Serena Torrance, 23, of Maesteg who is taking a criminology degree at Cardiff University and former Coleg Sir Gar learner Simon McCall, 21, from Capel Dewi, a self-employed carpenter and member of the WorldSkills UK Squad.
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James congratulated the nine inspirational finalists and also praised all the employers and learners who had entered the VQ Awards this year.
“A VQ Award is more than just an award; it’s a symbol of dedication towards your chosen profession,” she said. “Professional and personal development programmes are utilised for staff to enable them to follow a pathway of learning to meet company, customer and individual needs.
“The VQ Awards help us to celebrate those Welsh employers and learners who are already going that extra mile when it comes to developing vocational skills and qualifications.
“If the Welsh economy is to continue to grow then we must ensure that employers, individuals and the Welsh Government work together to invest in the right skills for success in order to equip Wales with a world class work force.”
The VQ Learner the Year Award recognises learners who clearly demonstrate progression and excellence in vocational studies and have made considerable achievements in their field.
The VQ Employer of the Year Award recognises employers who promote the value of vocational qualifications in the workplace and make a real contribution, relative to their size, to improving skills and national competitiveness.
For more infomration on VQ Day please visit the website www.vqday.org.uk