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Learners’ achievements recognised in VQ Awards 2019 shortlist

Three outstanding South Wales learners have had their dedication and accomplishments rewarded by being named as finalists in the prestigious Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards 2019.

Alex Davies, Collette Gorvett and Nia Jones, have succeeded to impress the judging panel and been recognised as deserving finalists 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.

Gower College Swansea helped Alex Davies find his true career path, working with young children. Alex studied Children’s Care Learning and Development and now works at Sketty Primary School.

What has set 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.

Collette Gorvett’s progression at Gower College Swansea led to her being recognised with the College’s Hospitality Student of the Year award in 2018.

Collette Gorvett

But it is her involvement in Welsh, UK and ultimately European Skills competitions that have made her an outstanding advocate for vocational learning. Her latest success was part of the four-strong UK team that finished ninth out of 27 competing European nations in the Euro Skills competition held in Budapest, Hungary last year.

Collette now gives masterclasses to up and coming competitors and acts as a mentor and ambassador for Inspiring Skills at several Welsh colleges.

Nia Jones is one of just three Level 4 HNC Apprenticeships in Project Management with engineering giant Arup, studying at Cardiff Met University while working as a key member of the team managing a multi-million pound scheme of railway improvements across Wales.

She studied Construction and the Build Environment at Cardiff and Vale College where she was awarded Construction Student of the Year, 2018.

Now under the guidance of Cardiff-based ALS Training, 18-year-old Nia is excelling on her HNC course, showing impressive leadership qualities and demonstrating excellent work in Stakeholder Management and Project Communications.

Highlighting the importance of vocational qualifications to the economy, companies and individuals, Minister for Education Kirsty Williams said:

“Vocational qualifications provide a broad range of quality training for learners and a supply of skilled workers for employers, bringing in new ideas which can help businesses evolve and innovate.

“The VQ awards are an opportunity to celebrate the skill and commitment of the learners, trainers and employers who are raising the bar in the field of vocational qualifications.

“It’s important we recognise these achievements and to be shortlisted is fantastic, so well done to all the nominees!”

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.