A dyslexia diagnosis was the start of an “amazing learning journey” that has seen Melanie Davis achieve a Higher Apprenticeship in Employment Related Services and improve the contribution she makes at work.
Melanie, 56, from Betws-y-Coed, works for Conwy County Borough Council’s Communities For Work programme supporting people, many of whom have complex barriers to employment, to build their confidence and work prospects.
Prior to her Higher Apprenticeship, delivered by Busnes@LlandrilloMenai, she had avoided academic qualifications. However, that all changed when tutor Tina Jones arranged an assessment which confirmed Melanie was dyslexic.
“This is when my amazing learning journey began,” explained Melanie, who boosted her confidence by completing Essential Skills qualifications and the Level 4 Diploma, which she had previously thought were impossible. She has now started a counselling course.
“The personal progress I made during the apprenticeship was life changing for me. It has helped me to think and plan in much more detail and I am inspiring other people to learn, to get involved and to challenge themselves. If I can achieve a qualification, then anyone can.”
Her learning journey will take her to next month’s next month’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, the annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships, where she has been shortlisted for the Higher Apprentice of the Year Award.
Thirty-four finalists in a dozen categories are in the running for the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, 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.
Confident about continuing her learning in college, Melanie dreams of one day studying in university. Her passion for learning has helped her design and deliver a successful course, 'Confidently You' for the clients she works with.
“The apprenticeship has helped me improve what I do in my job and, as a result, I feel I am contributing more to help those most vulnerable in society,” added Melanie.
Libby Duo, Conwy Communities For Work delivery manager, said: “I have so much admiration and respect for Mel. She is a constant inspiration to me and the team; she is creative, innovative and always has the participant at the heart of everything she does.”
Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, congratulated Melanie 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.”