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Apprenticeship Ambassador Catrin dreams of one day opening a nursery

WELSH speaking apprentice, Catrin Morgan, is fulfilling her career ambition of working with young children and would like to open her own nursery in the future.

Catrin, 18, from Pontarddulais, is working towards a bilingual Apprenticeship Level 3 in Children’s Care, Play and Learning Development (Practice) through City & Guilds, delivered by Pathways Training, part of NPTC Group of Colleges. She hopes to progress to a Higher Apprenticeship to support her career ambition.

She began working part-time for Cylch Meithrin Pontarddulais at Bont Elim Community Church last September, having previously completed a Level 2 Childcare qualification at Gower College Swansea with a placement at Swansea University’s nursery.

Due to her passion for the Welsh language and apprenticeships, Catrin has been appointed an Apprenticeship Ambassador by Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (CCC) and the National Training Federation of Wales (NTfW).

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol leads the development of Welsh medium and bilingual education and training in the post-compulsory sector in Wales and the NTfW represents work-based learning providers across Wales.

“I am really enjoying my apprenticeship at Cylch Meithrin Pontarddulais,” said Catrin, who is also part-time retail assistant for Primark. “I have always wanted to work with children because I love seeing them develop and being able to help them.

“Hopefully, I can work myself up to a higher level and a full-time job in Cylch. My aim is to open my own nursery one day.”

Speaking about her Apprenticeship Ambassador role, she said she is keen to promote the benefits of being an apprentice and bilingualism.

“Doing an apprenticeship is far better because I am able to learn more in one day than in a week in college,” said Catrin. “Being an ambassador, I can help advise others about the benefits of learning in the workplace with an apprenticeship if they are not sure what they want to do.

“I think being able to speak Welsh fluently provides more opportunities and I enjoy speaking and teaching Welsh in the Cylch setting.”

Eira Mainwaring, manager of Cylch Meithrin Pontarddulais, is one of four staff who have either completed or are working towards apprenticeships.

“Catrin has fitted in really well and the apprenticeship is a stepping stone to her future career,” she said. “An apprenticeship gives learners an opportunity to earn whilst doing a qualification and to find out what a job is really like.

“I started volunteering 10 years ago and went on to do an apprenticeship with Mudiad Meithrin which led to a Higher Apprenticeship. The opportunity to do an apprenticeship and get practical, hands-on experience in a work setting was brilliant for me.”

Claire Quick, Catrin’s tutor and assessor from Pathways Training, said: “Catrin is in the early stages of her apprenticeship and has done really well in her assessments. She is working with children aged two and three years and is developing her skills and confidence with support from Eira and her staff.”

Lisa Mytton, the NTfW’s strategic director, said: “Many workplaces are becoming more bilingual, so completing an apprenticeship bilingually or in Welsh can increase an individual’s confidence to work in both languages and their employability.

“Our Apprenticeship Ambassadors are excellent role models for apprenticeships, highlighting the benefits of learning and working bilingually in the workplace.”

Elin Williams, from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, said: “This is the third year running that we have appointed ambassadors for the apprenticeship sector, and we think this is a vital tool in showing people that it is possible to continue with your bilingual learning through the apprenticeship route.

“With the Welsh Government’s target to reach one million Welsh speakers by 2050, it has never been more important to develop your bilingual skills and increase your employability prospects.”

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

To find out more about apprenticeship opportunities go to Careers Wales https://careerswales.gov.wales/apprenticeships or telephone 0800 028 4844.

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