Apprentice Stevie Williams has swapped her job in customer services to pursue her dream career teaching engineering.
Stevie, 36, from Goytre, Port Talbot, secured a job as a mechanical engineering technician and instructor at NPTC Group after completing a Performing Engineering Operations Level 2 Mechanical Engineering Foundation Apprenticeship and Vocationally-Related Qualification (VRQ) Level 2 six months early.
She is now working towards an Apprenticeship and VRQ Level 3 with plans to progress to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and Degree Apprenticeship in the future to fulfil her ambition of becoming an engineering lecturer.
Now Stevie has been shortlisted for the Foundation Apprentice of the Year award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021.
This annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships will see 35 finalists compete in 12 categories for awards. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on April 29.
Highlight of the work-based learning calendar, the awards showcase businesses and individuals who have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes and gone the extra mile to achieve success during these unprecedented times.
The awards are jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Openreach, the UK’s digital network business and passionate supporter of apprenticeships, has renewed its headline sponsorship of the awards.
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Stevie is completing her apprenticeships with learning provider Pathways Training. Lee Hughes, mechanical engineering assessor and advisor, describes her as a “dream apprentice”.
He says Stevie’s enthusiasm, dedication and maturity are rubbing off on other apprentices and NPTC Group engineering students.
“Stevie has set the benchmark for others to follow and her fellow learners respect her role as an instructor. It is lovely to see her progression and how she deals with all the work.”
Mother of two Stevie said she wants a career that will support her family. In addition to her apprenticeship, she takes every learning opportunity that comes her way to expand her knowledge.
“I have a keen interest in engineering and enjoy being hands on but have always wanted to go into teaching, so an apprenticeship with NPTC Group of Colleges was perfect for me,” she added.
“I am now in a secure position in a career with amazing prospects, all of which would not have been possible without my apprenticeship and the support of my colleagues. I hope to inspire my students through my own success story.”
Stevie has saved the college more than £2,000 a year by introducing several improvements in the workshop as well as helping with the practical assessments of students during the pandemic.
Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said:
“Our Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes are helping people fulfil their career ambitions and I’m delighted we have already reached our target of creating 100,000 apprenticeships in this Senedd term.
“This has been key in helping apprentices of all ages to gain important skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need. This will be vital as we emerge from the pandemic.
“Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of all involved, from star apprentices to skilled learning providers.
“I’d like to congratulate all the finalists announced for this year's event and wish each and every one all the best for the future.”