A PASSION for childcare and a wealth of experience as a former nursery manager is what makes Rebecca Strange’s shortlisting for the Work-based Learning Assessor of the Year at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021 no surprise – other than to herself, that is.
This unassuming 37-year-old from Cardiff, was first shocked, then elated at her nomination. “I was over the moon, but completely surprised,” she said.
“My manager often tells me that I go over and above what is expected, but I see that as part of what I should be doing every day. It always makes me proud to see my learners develop.”
Rebecca works as an apprenticeship assessor in Childcare across Levels 2 to 5, moving between nurseries, childminders and pre-school settings, although the role has been increasingly challenging during lockdowns.
Her role is to manage, review, assess and train learners in workplace settings with bespoke programmes, supported by e-portfolios and employer feedback.
The prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, an 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.
Working for training provider Educ8, based in Hengoed, Rebecca was instrumental in setting up the company’s learning platform Moodle, and now heads up the evaluation and development of the programme.
Rebecca said: “I thrive on being able to share my knowledge, skills and experiences, both with my learners and work colleagues.”
Learner Zara King said: “I flourished in Rebecca’s care. She is simply amazing at her job. I wanted everyone to have Rebecca as their assessor.”
Educ8’s programme manager Rhian Jones added: “Becky draws upon her experiences in childcare to ignite a passion for the sector, elevate the workforce and establish it as a career of choice.”
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.”