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Apprenticeship assessor Hayley is passionate about supporting others

HEALTH and Social Care Apprenticeships assessor Hayley Walters’ passion for supporting others makes her stand out from the crowd.

Hayley, 32, who works for Itec Training Solutions in Cardiff, is using the valuable knowledge she gained from 13 years working in nursing homes and health and social care settings to benefit learners, colleagues and her employer.

She has been praised for going above and beyond for her learners, sharing best practice and being the point of contact for new trainee assessors.

Now Hayley has been shortlisted for the Work-based Learning Practitioner of the Year Award at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on November 10.

The awards highlight 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). Headline sponsor for the third year is Openreach.

Hayley understands the positive impact that her own continuous improvement has on learners, which is highlighted by the work she has done to develop the new Health and Social Care qualification and support Itec Training Solutions’ assessor team.

She identified improvements to support and enhance the learner journey at Levels 2 and 3 and make delivery more interactive and engaging for colleagues, learners and the business.

“Hayley has been on a journey of continuous professional development since leaving school and is a true role model to others,” said Hannah Barron, Itec’s human resources manager.

Joining Itec three years ago with Health & Social Care Level 2 and 3 Apprenticeships to her name, Hayley quickly qualified as an assessor. Next stage of her professional development will be an Internal Quality Assurance Award at Level 4.

She strategically plans each learner’s journey, meeting them frequently and developing their skills and knowledge through blended learning based on their individual needs.

She links personal development plans to each learner’s goals and aspirations, which keeps them motivated and ensures that they and their employers remain engaged.

During the pandemic, she provided wellbeing and emotional support to learners who were suffering from stress and anxiety. She also successfully adapted to remote learning by upgrading her multimedia skills, developing additional resources and providing extra support for learners.

Hayley has now joined an external focus group to develop the Education Workforce Council’s new professional standards resources for post-16 learners.

“I am delighted that my nomination for Work-based Learning Practitioner of the Year has been supported by my colleagues, learners and employers. This means the world to me and makes me feel proud of my achievements.

“Supporting best practice in health and social care sector has always been at the forefront of my ambition.”

Debbie Hobbs, quality assurance officer at ISS Healthcare, Cardiff, praised Hayley for supporting 30 members of staff remotely to achieve their Health & Social Care qualifications during the pandemic.

“She worked above and beyond to ensure they didn’t fall behind and completed their qualifications to enable them to stay in the care sector,” she added. “These actions helped me enormously to retain staff.”

Congratulating Hayley and all the other shortlisted finalists, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “Apprenticeships make a huge contribution to our economy and will be crucial as Wales continues to bounce back from the pandemic.

“They can help futureproof, motivate and diversify a workforce, offering people the chance to gain high-quality vocational skills.

“As part of our Young Person’s Guarantee, the Welsh Government will be investing £366 million over the next three years to deliver 125,000 all-age apprenticeships across Wales during the current term of government.

“We want to increase opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to develop transferable skills in the workplace and improve their lives. The investment will also help tackle skills shortages and gaps in priority sectors critical to drive productivity and economic growth, supporting our net zero ambitions, the every-day foundational economy and public services.”