APPRENTICE Laura Beale has made a ‘Flying Start’ to her career after making an immediate impression on her employer.
Whilst studying for a Level 4 Diploma in Project Management, Laura prepared a detailed business case for Carmarthenshire County Council to secure funding for a project of over £660,000.
Now Laura 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.
“Laura used the knowledge gained from the project lifecycle methodology and the structured approach to project management, to successfully deliver the highly complex Trimsaran ‘Flying Start’ project,” said Adrian Morgans, training advisor at ALS Training, Cardiff.
“This resulted in a new Flying Start Early Years Children’s Centre being opened during autumn, 2017 in Trimsaran, Llanelli.”
A VQ Learner of the Year – Higher finalist, Laura, 30, completed her two-year diploma in just 15 months and has thrived since deciding to step into vocational education, despite already having a degree in Business Management.
“Having previously completed academic qualifications, I enjoyed the apprenticeship as it was a new way of learning, providing a blend of theory and practical experience, which allowed for greater understanding and work-based examples to provide insight into the principles of project management,” she said.
“It provided more realistic and appropriate methods of teaching in a highly complex field, offering transferable skills I can further develop in future employment daily.”
A new job beckons following the completion of her Diploma which will see her implement her newly-gained skills and knowledge on complex tenders and large scale multi-million-pound construction projects within the council’s Property Design Section.
One project that she is particularly proud of is a lot closer to home. “During my apprenticeship I was also able to use my new skills on my own home renovation project on a property I had recently purchased in Pontarddulais,” she explained.
The VQ Learner Awards recognise learners who clearly demonstrate progression and excellence in vocational studies and have made considerable achievements in their field.
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.