Living with epilepsy has been part of Carrie-Anne Anthony’s life. Growing up near Aberdare, constant epileptic fits led to regular hospital stays including being placed in an induced coma for four months.
This loss of schooling led to lost contact with friends, a loss of confidence and medical side effects, like short term memory loss.
But working with training provider PeoplePlus Aberdare has brought some stability to Carrie-Anne’s life. The staff there underwent training with her epileptic nurse and her grandfather so that they could administer medication.
Now the shy and withdrawn teenager is blossoming through the Traineeship Engagement Programme that has seen her complete modules in Employability Skills, Essential Skills for Work and Life, Essential Application of Number and a British Safety Council Entry 3 qualification.
She has made friends and become one of the most vocal learners, progressing on to the Traineeship Level 1 Programme.
Carrie-Anne’s learning journey has now been recognised, as she has been shortlisted for the Traineeship Learner of the Year (Engagement) Award at next month’s 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 awards, 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.
The next phase for Carrie-Anne will be more regular placements at her home town primary school, with full-time employment in childcare as her goal.
PeoplePlus Aberdare Centre Tutor Arron Peacock said:
“Carrie-Anne has the grit, determination and motivation to break through barriers that will always be there. The change I have seen in her is massive and she is always smiling.”
Carrie-Anne said: “PeoplePlus has helped me come out of my shell. I lost my mother to epilepsy and it has been such a large part of my childhood, but thanks to my traineeship I am now completing tasks that a few years ago I would never have dreamed of doing.”
Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, congratulated Carrie-Anne 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.”