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Award shortlisting for Lynn who turns adversity into advantage

Lynn Matthews knows more than most about the levels of support that many learners require.

Dyslexia meant that Lynn struggled in school, but she refused to let that hold her back and has carved out a successful career by providing the level of guidance that she craved as a young learner.

The 57-year-old – originally from Bangor but now living in Gorseinon – has been employed by PeoplePlus Cymru since 2013, firstly as a tutor coach and, since September 2018, as the lead tutor. In both roles, she has managed a caseload of between 30-40 learners aged 16-19 with a broad range of learning needs.

Now Lynn has been shortlisted for the Work-based Learning Tutor of the Year Award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, the annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships.

Thirty-four finalists in a dozen categories are in the running for the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which will be presented at a high-profile ceremony at the new International Convention Centre Wales, Newport, on October 24.

The awards showcase the successes of the best learners, employers, tutors and assessors in Wales who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeship and Apprenticeship programmes.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru has Openreach, the UK’s digital network business, as its premier sponsor this year. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Lynn’s superb people skills have been internationally honed over a number of years with diverse roles prior to joining PeoplePlus within the military, public, private and charity sectors.

An advocate of lifelong learning, in 2012, she completed her Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) and Practitioner in Basic Skills qualifications. More recently, she completed a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Advice and Guidance.

She is at the forefront of modern teaching techniques and actively seeks new ways to deliver training to the variety of learning styles she finds within her classroom.

“Lynn has developed digital classrooms where learners can access work remotely, submit work and gain feedback at a pace that suits them,” said Jihane Rodriguez, PeoplePlus Cymru’s Communications and Marketing Manager.

Lynn has invited tutors to view and use the resources she has developed. She has also taken the lead in creating online collaborative platforms where they can view, discuss and share resources and teaching experiences.

“Neither dyslexia nor lack of a degree held me back from achieving my life goals. In fact, this helped because there wasn’t a direct path set out for me – rather, I learned to go for a goal and then follow the path of the learning experiences,” she said.

Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, congratulated Lynn and all the other shortlisted finalists.

“Our Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes are helping increasing numbers of people to gain the skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need,” he said.

“The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of everyone involved in those programmes from our star apprentices and employers, to learning providers and trainees.”