01.04.19 mh VQ Awards Alex Davies 19

Career Success in the face of adversity

Gower College Swansea helped Alex Davies find his true career path, working with young children -– and he has now been named as a finalist in the prestigious Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards 2019.

Unhappy on an electrical installation course, Alex transferred to a Bridge programme, giving him experience of a range of curriculum areas and his passion for working with young children was realised.

Since 2015, he has completed Cache Levels 1 and 2 in Children’s Care Learning and Development (CCLD) and is well on his way to completing Level 3 Diploma in CCLD. In addition, Alex completed courses in Emergency First Aid and Paediatric First Aid.

It was his placement at Sketty Primary School last year as a student that truly demonstrated his natural ability to work with young children. Head teacher Beverley Phillips said: “Alex was a natural. He is kind and caring but has a firm and fair approach. When a vacancy arose we took Alex on full time working in our nursery.”

Alex’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.

What has set 21-year-old Alex apart from other learners is his outstanding commitment in the face of adversity. Difficulties at school and in his home life, coupled with a daily three-hour round bus trip to college, has shown his determination to succeed and has made him a role model who can inspire other learners.

Alex said: “I am grateful for the college supporting me with my finances in tough times. My desire to achieve my life goal of gaining my dream job in working with children made it easier for me to spend that time on the bus.”

His dedication has certainly impressed his training provider with Caryn Morgan, NEET Engagement Manager at Gower College Swansea, saying that “the future looks very bright for this young man.”

“The distance that Alex has travelled academically is exemplary,” she said. “He has been committed to achieving success in this traditionally female dominated profession and has never wavered in his dedication to fulfilling his ambition.”

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, Alex Davies.

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