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Understanding and respect at heart of Gwenno’s training

Treating each learner as an individual with unique training needs is at the heart of Gwenno Jones’ success.

Gwenno’s role as a former physics teacher in the Rhondda helps develop mutual understanding and respect, a key step in coaching and mentoring teachers that has seen many of them gain promotion or successfully lead and manage change within their schools.

Now she has been named a finalist in this year’s Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards in Wales, which are designed to reward individuals and organisations for their commitment, hard work and achievements.

The awards ceremony will be held at The Exchange Hotel, Cardiff on May 3 to coincide with VQ Day. The awards are organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), ColegauCymru / CollegesWales and Qualifications Wales.

Working for Portal Training, based in Cardiff, Gwenno is developing her own skills, looking towards a Level 7 Leadership and Management qualification that gives a European dimension to training that she can share with learners and peers. In November, she is planning a trip to Finland to experience other educational cultures.

A VQ Trainer of the Year finalist, Gwenno, who trains in Welsh and English language, mentors new Portal Training assessors and was instrumental in developing a new coaching model which is now widely used in the company’s induction process.

Portal’s managing director Gwawr Booth said: “Gwenno’s exemplary practice as a work-based learning practitioner is an inspiration to both her learners and colleagues with her nurturing and supportive approach ensuring excellent relationships with all.”

Gwenno said: “I relish thinking of alternatives to break down barriers which could pose a threat to a learner’s progress. Differentiation in approach is vital to ensure success and a meaningful journey for a learner to achieve vocational qualifications.

“I am passionate about learning. Sixty per cent of my learners have already secured promotion from teaching roles to heads of department, heads of year or to school leadership teams.”

The VQ Trainer of the Year Award recognises individual trainers who have made a telling contribution to supporting learners in the workplace to achieve excellence whilst also constantly improving their own skills and knowledge.

In addition to the award ceremony, learning providers across Wales are being encouraged to organise regional events that engage with learners of all ages on VQ Day.

Vocational qualifications are important to the economy, companies and individuals, as they deliver the trained, talented employees that businesses are crying out for and ensure young people have the skills needed to succeed in education and work.

Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan said: “A VQ award is a symbol of dedication towards a chosen profession, demonstrating to others a real commitment towards personal and professional development.

“The awards help us to celebrate those Welsh employers, learners and trainers who are already going that extra mile when it comes to developing vocational skills and qualifications.”

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.