Louisa Mallett’s mantra is the development of the person alongside the practical training. Now her efforts have been recognised by being named VQ Trainer of the Year at the Vocational Qualifications (VQ) Awards 2019.
Louisa, who has been tutoring for the past seven years at ACT Limited in Cardiff received the prestigious award at a ceremony held at the National Museum in Cardiff on May 15. Now in their 12th year, the coveted VQ Awards celebrate those who use technical, practical and vocational qualifications to achieve success.
The award is a symbol of dedication towards a chosen profession. The awards help to celebrate those Welsh learners, trainers and employers who are already going that extra mile when it comes to developing vocational skills and qualifications.
Surprised and delighted, Louisa believes winning the award is a boost to her self-confidence and highlights the significance of vocational learning.
Said Louisa: “I don’t believe in myself as much as I should, but after winning this award I definitely do now, so I’m really over the moon. These awards are really important as I think they give a lot more kudos to vocational qualifications and work-based learning.”
An exceptional and innovative trainer, Louisa is passionate about teaching and working tirelessly to deliver creative and engaging workshops. As a strong advocate for well-being, Louisa has created an online well-being booklet signposting learners to sites that offer practical support on symptoms of stress and anxiety that can impact on learning.
As part of her digitally-led workshops, Louisa has created a series of Nearpods, an interactive classroom tool that develops digital literacy skills as well as allowing learners to go at their own pace either individually or in group settings.
“Over the past seven years, Louisa has honed an incredible ability to build rapport with her learners and pick up on any underlying barriers they may be facing,” said Rebecca Small, Business Services Lead at ACT Limited. “Learners really trust Louisa as she is able to understand their needs and create an appropriate and achievable action plan for them to follow.”
Louisa believes that her own professional development is also key to maintaining standards. She has completed a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Advice and Guidance, is currently on an introduction to Counselling course and a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Business Administration.
Kim Ford, who completed a Level 3 Business Administration course under Louisa’s guidance, said: “Louisa went above and beyond with one to one sessions delivered in such an easy to follow and non- complicated way. She is amazing.”
Louisa said: “My personal drive is wanting to make a difference to our learners. Real learning does not take place without an emotional connection and innovative thinking.”
Runners up in the VQ Trainer of the Year category were Anna Bell, Itec Skills and Employment, Cardiff and Mark Shaw, Coleg Cambria, Deeside.
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 award ceremony coincided with VQ Day – which celebrates vocational achievement and the benefits of technical, practical and vocational learning to both the individual and the Welsh economy.
Minister for Education Kirsty Williams said:
”Work-based skills are more important than ever, equipping learners with the skills and experience they and their employers need within the modern workforce.
“The awards set the gold standard for Vocational Qualifications in Wales and reward our outstanding learners, businesses that are committed to developing their staff and trainers who work with passion and always go the extra mile.
“Each of the finalists and winners should be extremely proud and I would like to congratulate them all on their achievements.”
The VQ 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 Trainer of the Year Award winner, Louisa Mallett.