North Wales move kick starts career
A young woman who moved from South to North Wales to secure herself a job has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
Ffion Malwala 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). She is shortlisted for the Jobs Growth Wales Outstanding Achiever of the Year award.
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.
It took a move from Cardiff to Prestatyn to kick-start Ffion’s career in graphic design. Now the 24-year-old has a permanent position with Daydream Designs, where her contribution is helping the company grow.
Since she joined, the company’s profits in graphic design have gone up by over 90% and it has also started working on packaging design, with products now on the shelves of TK Maxx and Holland & Barratt.
Ffion, who has a design degree from Cardiff University, said: “After graduating, I applied for so many jobs but didn’t get anywhere. I started to lose confidence, thinking I wasn’t good enough, but I kept on looking.”
She found out about the design role on the Jobs Growth Wales programme through Twitter, applied and went on to impress at interview. “Things have turned out really well,” she said. “I really like my job and I’m enjoying working to grow the business.”
Sian Saunders, creative director at Daydream Design, said: “The fact that Ffion was prepared to move to North Wales to take up the position clearly demonstrated her commitment.
“Her design skills were impressive from the outset but she needed more confidence. Through her training with Coleg Cambria in Wrexham, her confidence grew and today she manages projects and clients. She even made a presentation to 300 undergraduates at Glyndwr University.
“Her forward-thinking, innovative approach has amazed us from the start and has helped us to grow the business in new directions.”
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.