Kiera Dwyer’s determination, dedication and commitment to achieve a series of qualifications to support the Abercynon community pharmacy where she works has landed her a coveted national apprenticeship award.
Pharmacy technician Kiera, 24, from Rhydyfelin, Pontypridd, was named Apprentice of the Year at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022.
Kiera, who has Irlen Syndrome, also known as visual stress, worked on the NHS front line during the pandemic and had to deal with a series of traumatic family events, including the loss of her beloved grandfather.
“It means the world to me to win this award,” she said. “Despite everything that went on in my personal life and my disability, it shows that hard work pays off. It was incredible to have the people that I care about the most with me to celebrate.
“Just to be nominated for the award was amazing and to go on and win it was unbelievable
“I wanted to do an apprenticeship to be able to apply knowledge that I learn, including how medical conditions can affect patients and how different drug classes in treatments work in different ways.”
The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru showcased the outstanding achievements, during unprecedented times, of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.
Highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, the awards are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) and headline sponsor Openreach.
Kiera has taken on extra responsibility to allow pharmacists at Sheppards Pharmacy, part of the Avicenna group, more time with front line patients, resulting in satisfaction rating of up to 100%.
To overcome the visual stress, she invested in additional learning aids for written work and revision to complete a Pre-registration Pharmacy Technician Training Programme Apprenticeship which included a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science through awarding body Pearson and a City & Guilds Level 3 in Pharmacy Service Skills.
The apprenticeship was delivered by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) with support from ALS Training. She now plans to continue her learning journey which will enable her to provide more support for the pharmacists where she works.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated Kiera and all the other award winners and finalists.
“This Welsh Government has ambitious plans to make Wales an engine for sustainable, inclusive growth and give every young person the best possible start in the world of work,” he said.
“I believe apprenticeships are vital to this vision and that’s why we are investing £366 million over the next three years in the delivery of our apprenticeship programme. I am determined we do all we can as a government to help deliver the long-term economic benefits our young people deserve.
“We are a small country but we have big ambitions, and our aim is to foster a culture in Wales where recruiting an apprentice is the norm for employers.”
The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund. For more information about recruiting an apprentice, visit: https://gov.wales/apprenticeships-genius-decision or call 03000 603000.