The finalists have been announced for Wales’ annual celebration of learning, training and employment excellence – the Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards 2019.
Now 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 VQ Intermediate Learner of the Year Award rewards outstanding vocational learner achievement. The learner will have completed a vocational qualification in Wales, awarded by a recognised awarding body at CQFW level 3.
VQ Intermediate Learner of the Year: Alex Davies, Sketty Primary School, Swansea, whose training provider is Gower College Swansea; Collette Gorvett, who is currently presenting training on behalf of WorldSkills UK, and whose learning provider is Gower College Swansea; and Nia Jones, Cardiff, who works for engineering company Arup, and whose learning providers are Cardiff and Vale College and ALS Training.
The VQ Higher Learner of the Year Award recognises learners who clearly demonstrate progression and excellence in vocational studies and who have made considerable achievements in their field to CQFW Level 4 and above.
VQ Higher Learner of the Year: Charlotte O’Brien, Office for National Statistics, Newport, whose learning provider is ALS Training; Jonathan Thomas, DAS Legal Expenses Ins Co Ltd, Caerphilly, whose learning provider is ALS Training; and Reagan Locke, Tata Steel, Port Talbot, whose learning provider is Gower College Swansea.
The VQ Trainer of the Year Award seeks to reward the individual whose passion, knowledge and skills are creating imaginative, challenging and supportive vocational learning opportunities for learners.
VQ Trainer of the Year: Anna Bell, Itec Skills and Employment, Cardiff; Louisa Mallett, ACT Ltd, Cardiff; and Mark Shaw, Coleg Cambria, Deeside.
The VQ Employer of the Year Award focuses on rewarding employers who invest and promote the value of vocational qualifications in the workplace and make a real contribution to improving the skills of their staff.
VQ Employer of the Year: Deloitte LLP, Cardiff, whose learning provider is Cardiff and Vale College; Scarlet Knight, Talbot Green, whose learning provider is ISA Training; and St Cyres School, Penarth, whose learning provider is Portal Training.
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.
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!”
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.