Two Newport men shortlisted for National Awards
Two Newport men have been nominated for prestigious national awards.
Gareth Carpenter, 24 and Sean Parsons, 26, are two 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).
Gareth, who has turned around his employer’s business, is shortlisted for the Jobs Growth Wales Outstanding Achiever of the Year award, while Sean, who left school at 14 with no qualifications, is competing for the Employability – Steps to Employment Learner 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.
Gareth joined Knight Fire and Security Products in Cardiff through Jobs Growth Wales, supported by ACT Training. Starting as an office administrator, his role has developed because of his excellent skills and he is now the first point of contact for IT advice.
“After leaving school at 18 with poor A-level results, I had a few different jobs but nothing really worked out and I was frustrated with the lack of opportunities,” said Gareth, who is now supported by the Young Recruits Programme.
“When I joined the company, I started to look at making improvements to the IT systems and these are now really benefiting the business, making things simpler and saving money and time.”
Sean was barely able to write when he left school but now holds a BTEC in Business as well as qualifications in ICT, communications and food hygiene. He joined the Steps to Employment programme with MVRRS, after being unemployed for six months.
He said the course has changed his life: “I have learned so much. I have changed as a person thanks to the support I had through what was a very tough time for me personally and I’m much more positive and confident.”
His ambition is to run his own business and he has attended extra courses with Business in Commerce to help him towards this goal. “I really want to get a job that uses the new skills I have gained, but my dream in the long term is to start up and run my own business,” he added.
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.”