06.04.19 mh VQ Awards Nia Jones 4

Breaking down barriers for women in STEM

Nia Jones is a passionate advocate for women in construction and engineering and is leading by example! She has now been named as a finalist in the prestigious Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards 2019.

She is one of just three Level 4 HNC Apprenticeships in Project Management with engineering giant Arup, studying at Cardiff Met University while working as a key member of the team managing a multi-million pound scheme of railway improvements across Wales.

Having dropped out of her A-level studies to pursue vocational training, this decision was vindicated when she successfully achieved BTEC Level 3, 90 credits in Construction and the Build Environment at Cardiff and Vale College where she was awarded Construction Student of the Year, 2018.

Nia’s efforts have been recognised as a finalist in the Intermediate Learner of the Year category of this year’s VQ Awards, which are designed to reward individuals and organisations for their commitment, hard work and achievements.

At CAVC, as part of a Career Ready programme, Nia arranged a series of summer internships, winning the Career Ready Think Build award for sharing her vision of promoting and improving diversity in construction.

Now under the guidance of Cardiff-based ALS Training, 18-year-old Nia is excelling on her HNC course, showing impressive leadership qualities and demonstrating excellent work in Stakeholder Management and Project Communications.

Chris Baker, Communications officer at CAVC, said: “Nia continues to draw inspiration from her vocational qualifications to develop her career. We have no doubt that Nia will excel. She is an inspiration.”

Nia said: “I will draw inspiration from my work, colleagues and clients to excel in my career. I can show how women can really make an impact on the construction and engineering industry – and all this has been achieved through vocational qualifications.”

Her training advisor, Adrian Morgans, of ALS Training, is understandably proud of Nia’s achievements and said; “She has completed some terrific groundwork on a contract that Arup has won with the new train service provider Transport for Wales and, as her training advisor, I am really looking forward to the progress she is going to make on this project, alongside any other projects she will be involved with.”

Now in their 12th year, the VQ Awards celebrate those who use technical, practical and vocational qualifications to achieve success. A Vocational Qualification – VQ- award is a symbol of dedication towards your chosen profession. The awards help us to celebrate those Welsh learners, trainers and employers who are already going that extra mile when it comes to developing vocational skills and qualifications.

There are four award categories – VQ Intermediate Learner of the Year, VQ Higher Learner of the Year, VQ Trainer of the Year and VQ Employer of the Year – which encompass the spectrum of learning, training and employment.

The winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony held at the National Museum Cardiff on May 15. The ceremony coincides with VQ Day, which celebrates vocational achievement and the benefits of technical, practical and vocational learning to both the individual and the Welsh economy.

The awards are jointly organised by the Welsh Government, the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), ColegauCymru/CollegesWales, Qualifications Wales and the Education Workforce Council. The Welsh Government’s funding has support from the European Social Fund.

Picture caption: VQ Intermediate Learner of the Year category finalist, Nia Jones.

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