Traineeship Engagement Programme Transforms Josie’s Life

A Traineeship Engagement programme with Pathways Training, the work-based learning department of NPTC Group of Colleges, has transformed Josie Pether’s life.

Josie, 19, from Glynneath, has autism and changes in her life, especially meeting new people, can cause anxiety and panic attacks.

Thanks to Pathways Training, she has found a retail work placement at Shaw Trust, a national charity that helps people enter work, gain an education, develop their career, improve their wellbeing and rebuild their lives.

Now Josie’s learning journey has been recognised as she has been shortlisted for this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. She will be competing to become Traineeship Learning of the Year (Engagement) at the prestigious awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on November 9.

The annual awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the outstanding achievements of learners, employers, tutors and assessors who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships and Apprenticeship Programmes.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the coveted awards are supported by media partner, Media Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Thirty star employers, learners and learning providers from across Wales have been shortlisted for the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.

Josie enjoyed her placement at Shaw Trust so much that she didn’t miss a day in five months and has now progressed to a Traineeship Level 1 programme in retail. With her confidence boosted, she now works on the shop floor and uses the till, which is a dramatic change considering she could not make eye contact when she started.

She has a close group of friends at Shaw Trust and gained new skills which will hopefully lead to full-time employment in the future.

“Everyone has been so supportive and patient towards me,” said Josie. “With their help and encouragement, I am gaining confidence and new skills. I am glad I decided to join Pathways Training with a placement at Shaw Trust as they have both helped me in different ways and changed my life for the better.”

Lee Roberts, Pathways training adviser, at NPTC Group of Colleges said Josie is a perfect example of how the Traineeship Engagement programme can work with individuals with additional learning needs or issues relating to confidence and social skills.

“In this case, not only has it allowed Josie to progress on to a higher learning level, but it has allowed her to overcome issues that have encumbered her for most of her life,” he added. “I am immensely proud of Josie and wish her all the best in the future.”

Ian Jones, Pathways Manager at NPTC Group of Colleges also added:

‘’We are all extremely proud of Josie, it’s been a pleasure to have been a part of her journey and progression.  This nomination is testament, not just to Josie’s hard work and determination but also to the support, guidance and encouragement that the Pathways team give to all our apprentices.’’

Congratulating Josie on being shortlisted for an award, Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan said: “Apprenticeship Awards Cymru showcase the success of the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeships and Traineeships Programmes and the achievements of our star apprentices, employers, learning providers and trainees.

“Apprenticeships are a great way for individuals to gain valuable skills and experience while earning a wage and for employers to ensure their workforce has the skills to future-proof a business.

“Increasing higher level skills and developing skills pathways that benefit the whole of Wales have never been more important.”