Six of the best compete for VQ Awards in Wales
Six of the best employers and learners in Wales have been selected as finalists from a large entry to compete for coveted Vocational Qualifications Awards 2013.
Winners of the EU-backed VQ Employer of Year and VQ Learner of the Year awards will be announced on June 5 at a ceremony to be held at Coleg Morgannwg, Nantgarw, which will host one of three regional Vocational Qualifications (VQ) Day events in Wales.
The VQ Employer of Year Award finalists are business processing outsourcing company Capita, based at Nantgarw, Flintshire County Council at Northop and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board at Wrexham.
The award recognises employers who promote the value of vocational qualifications in the workplace and make a real contribution to improving the skills and national competitiveness.
The VQ Learner of the Year Award finalists are Welsh Young Butcher of the Year champion Tomi Jones from Llangollen, former Cardiff and Vale College student Leo Hacker, who now works for Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London and Helen Wynne, owner of Blythswood Childminding Services, Wrexham.
This award recognises learners who clearly demonstrate progression and excellence in vocational studies and have made considerable achievements in their field.
Wales’ Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said: “It’s important that vocational qualifications become, and remain, first choice options for our brightest and best learners and that their worth is fully recognised. VQ Day plays a key role in securing that objective.
“Vocational qualifications haven’t always enjoyed the high-profile and public esteem that they deserve but, as employers will readily testify, they are immensely valuable in preparing people for successful careers in many different fields. They are the cornerstone of a competitive economy.
“One of my priorities since being appointed Deputy Minister has been to ensure that vocational qualifications are recognised alongside academic qualifications for their value to the individual and society.
“That is why, following an independent review of qualifications, the Welsh Government is already taking steps to ensure that vocational qualifications remain relevant, valued and fit for the future.
“I hope that this year’s VQ Day will inspire even more individuals to consider a vocational pathway to success, further cementing the position of vocational qualifications at the heart of our economy and national life.”
Three regional events in Wales will celebrate VQ Day by shining a spotlight on the quality, variety and diversity of vocational qualifications.
In North Wales, Deeside College’s Connah’s Quay Campus is arranging hands-on demonstrations of vocational skills assisted by a range of post-16 education and training providers.
The Regional Learning Partnership South West Wales will also provide hands-on opportunities at Aberavon Shopping Centre, Swansea City Centre and St Elli Shopping Centre in Llanelli. Local radio will be supporting the day across Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.
Apart from hosting the VQ Awards ceremony, Coleg Morgannwg’s Nantgarw Campus will bring education and training providers together with employers to lead workshops and hands-on opportunities.
VQ Day is designed to celebrate vocational skills and the success they bring, to raise standards throughout Wales and identify and publicise exemplars. In addition, the awards highlight that vocational skills improve the performance of individuals and organisations and equip Wales with a world class workforce.
Vocational qualifications have never been more important to the economy and the individual, as they deliver the trained, talented employees that businesses are crying out for and ensure young people have the skills needed to succeed in education and work.
VQ Day and the VQ Awards are co-ordinated in Wales by ColegauCymru and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) with the support of the Welsh Government and part funded by the European Social Fund.