Training helps Kevin benefit local community

Posted on by karen.smith

A South Wales man who works for his local food bank has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Kevin Price, 52, 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 Employability Steps to Employment Learner of the Year award.

Kevin Price – making a real difference.

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.

Kevin is making a big difference to his local community, helping to run the food bank in New Tredegar, but things were very different two years ago.

After spending 10 years as a carer, he had no idea what to do with his life. “I was completely out of touch with the world of work,” explained Kevin. “I left university in 1993 and then cared for my elderly parents for many years. When they died I was at a complete loss as to what to do.”

He started volunteering in the gardens at St Dingats Church in New Tredegar and, after discussions about how to make himself more employable, started a training course with ITEC.

The Rev Rosie Dymond of St Dingat’s set up a food bank at the church and, after completing a Steps to Employment programme, Kevin was appointed its storehouse manager.

“I really enjoy my work,” he said. “As well as running the food bank, I still look after the gardens, so no two days are the same. I’m now in a position to help others who face difficulties in life and it’s very rewarding.

“The training and support I’ve received have made a huge difference to my life. I’m completely shocked to have been nominated but I’d love to win for all those people who have helped me.”

The Rev Dymond said: “It has been fantastic to watch Kevin grow in confidence and discover a range of new skills and abilities. Thanks to his commitment, the food bank has been able to support over 1,000 adults and children in crisis, while the community garden has gone from strength to strength.”

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.

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