Second chance for young mechanic
A young Caerphilly man who has achieved his ambition of working with cars has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
Jordan Jackson, 19, 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 Traineeship Learner of the Year Level 1 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.
Jordan has achieved his ambition despite a wobbly start to his career. He failed to complete an initial Traineeship programme with ACT Training, which would have secured him a full-time place on the motor vehicle repair and maintenance course. But when later offered another chance by the training provider, he grabbed it with both hands.
Jordan, who settled down and became more responsible and hard-working, said: “I’d grown up a lot in that time and really appreciated being given a second chance.”
He also proved that he was a very good motor vehicle technician, resulting in an apprenticeship with Westyre & Auto Centre in Caerphilly, where his colleagues describe him as professional, polite and courteous to customers.
“I absolutely love my job – I enjoy working with people and I like the hands-on aspect too,” said Jordan. “I’m delighted to have been nominated for this award for all the people who saw what I was and what I could become.”
Matt Harper from ACT Training added: “Many of us make mistakes but rarely learn from them, or worse, use them as an excuse to give up – Jordan didn’t. He recognised that he needed to work hard and took advice and guidance from others. His determination is infectious – people want to work with him and want him to succeed.”
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.