At the heart of the VQ Day celebrations are the students, tutors and employers who take, support and promote vocational qualifications, which is why we hold the VQ Awards.
Learner of the Year Intermediate Level 2017
Alys Evans is working towards an apprenticeship in Professional Cookery, Patisserie and Confectionery at Coleg y Cymoedd in Ystrad Mynach.
The 18-year-old cake maker has won a glut of gold, silver and bronze awards at the Welsh International Culinary Championships, received a gold City & Guilds medal for outstanding achievement and a gold at Cake International in London.
Alys, of Gilfach Goch, said: “I love baking and decorating and helping others improve their skills and would love to run my own mobile cake and cupcakes business alongside a cake shop and bakery.”
Learner of the Year Higher Level 2017
Julie Mundy has turned redundancy into a rewarding new career opportunity with a North Wales charity that supports adults with learning disabilities.
The mother of three from Minffordd, near Porthmadog is team leader of the furniture recycling unit at Seren Cyf in Blaenau Ffestiniog and her passion for lifelong learning has seen her complete a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Systems and Operations Management delivered by Cambrian Training Company.
“Being made redundant five years ago was an opportunity to find something that I really wanted to do because I never really thought about a career when I was bringing my kids up,” she said.
Trainer of the Year 2017
Matthew Booth undertook his apprenticeship 20 years ago as an apprentice toolmaker. Today, he’s leading vocational qualification training at Electroimpact UK Ltd in Deeside, Flintshire.
He believes in leading by example and undertook an Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Leadership before expecting senior apprentices at the company to undertake vocational qualifications themselves.
“The success we have seen from their apprentices in the last few years is testament to the additional support and development they receive in the business from Matt,” said Vicky Barwis, of Coleg Cambria, which delivers training for the company.
Employer of the Year 2017
Electroimpact UK Ltd believes in leading by example. Working with training provider Coleg Cambria, its senior staff undertook vocational qualifications before introducing training to their apprentices.
Since the Hawarden-based aerospace engineering company fully immersed itself in vocational qualifications four years ago, it has seen substantial growth, which it attributes directly to the training of its employees. The company’s workshop has increased by 50 per cent more than it had originally planned.
Apprentices from Electroimpact UK Ltd have also won gold, silver and bronze awards in WorldSkills competitions and a medallion of excellence at EuroSkills.