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 2018
Engineering graduate Brandon Jones has helped students from Cyfarthfa High School in Merthyr Tydfil experience life in the fast lane by leading them to the national final of the F1 in Schools Challenge at Silverstone for two years running.
Brandon took on the role of team leader as part of his Welsh Baccalaureate Community Challenge whilst a student at The College Merthyr Tydfil and graduated last year with a double distinction star in Engineering. This year, he has helped the school again whilst studying Product Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Brandon said “From my first week in college, I really enjoyed the course and aspired to do my very best not just academically but also by participating in as many extra-curriculum activities as possible.”
Learner of the Year Higher Level 2018
Ethan Davies has been described as a “model apprentice” by his peers and through hard work and continuous learning he is focussed on becoming a role model for young apprentices.
Ethan believes it is his competitive edge that is steering his career path, after completing his Higher Apprenticeship Engineering Manufacture Level 4 at Coleg Cambria whilst training to compete in WorldSkills as a part of the gold medal winning UK squad.
“My competition experience has enabled me to bring up-to-date, world-class skills to the company that have been a proven benefit to production over the past few years,” he said.
Trainer of the Year 2018
Tom Jones is not a traditional trainer. He champions experimental learning, often using body armour, protective equipment and army uniforms to get over a message. As he points out, many of his 14-16 age group students may not have seen a school classroom for months, so engaging them in learning often requires a different approach.
Tom’s lectures at Cardiff and Vale College are underpinned with trust, equality, humour and careful planning. Four years in the Army Reserves instilled discipline which he takes into the lecture room and 90% of his students’ progress to further learning.
Tom said “Education has given me chances I never thought I would have. I want to encourage my learners to have this experience.”
Employer of the Year 2018
Since taking over the Llanelli plant in 2011, Gestamp has transformed the business by investing in the plant and its people. It is a key supplier to automotive customers including Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley and Honda.
Gestamp’s dedicated ‘Talent Growth Programme’, which assesses skills, knowledge and behaviours via appraisals in association with enhanced job descriptions, creates individual, tailored development plans for all 428 Llanelli employees.
The company has an all-inclusive approach to providing formal development and qualifications to its employees.
“Our commitment to employees achieving qualifications knows no bounds – employees from the shopfloor to board level are included,” said Victoria Adams, the company’s training manager.