Vocational route the right choice for Tamar
Eighteen-year-old Tamar Girdlestone, who decided after a year in sixth form that the academic route wasn’t for her, has been shortlisted for a prestigious Traineeship Learner of the Year award for engagement.
Tamar, from Amlwch on Anglesey, 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).
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.
“I just wasn’t particularly motivated in school as that way of learning didn’t really suit me and I didn’t do well in my AS exams,” explained Tamar.
She met careers advisors who suggested a vocational child care course at Coleg Menai (now Grŵp Llandrillo Menai). She worked hard on literacy and numeracy as well as general confidence-building.
“It turned out to be exactly the right decision for me,” said Tamar. “The training was much more relaxed than school and I liked working in small groups and the one-to-one learning.”
Tutors were impressed with her work and, following excellent feedback from her placements, she received an unconditional acceptance for level three health studies, without having to do level two first. She started this two-year course at the college in September 2013.
“I’m really looking forward to the course,” said Tamar. “I will be on placement one day a week and in college for the other four. I’m hoping to do well and find myself a permanent job by the end of it.”
Her tutor, Jo Gordon, said: “When Tamar started with us she was quite shy and obviously not sure of her capabilities. Today she is a confident, self-assured young woman, aware of her capabilities and ready to take on the challenge of the level three NVQ.
“All members of staff who have had contact with Tamar are impressed with her mature attitude, work ethic and change in self-belief.”
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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