A Teenager from Cwmbran who has overcome confidence issues and personal tragedy to gain qualifications and progress her career ambitions was amongst the top learners celebrated at leading training charity Rathbone Training Cymru’s Achievers Awards in Cardiff.
Shelby Palmer, 19, was presented with the Engagement Learner of the Year award by Julie James, Welsh Government Minister for Skills and Science, at the Council Chamber at Cardiff University, on Tuesday, March 21.
The Minister said: “These awards recognise outstanding efforts and a personal commitment to learning and professional development and I would like to extend personal congratulations to everyone involved on their achievements.
“Shelby’s story is a touching example of why it is important for us to recognise success and applaud the great efforts being made by our young people, their training providers and employers every day to make learning aspirations a reality.
“Ensuring Wales’ young people have the right skills and experience to prepare them for current and future employment opportunities is a key priority for this government and we are committed to working with Work Based Learning providers such as Rathbone Training to support and develop the delivery of Apprenticeships and Traineeships in Wales.”
When Shelby came to Rathbone Training Cymru she was quiet and shy but with support her confidence has grown tremendously.
As well as overcoming the barriers in her self-belief Shelby has also had to deal with tremendous personal tragedy through the sudden loss of her mother. Her father is also seriously ill and as the eldest child Shelby has shown great personal strength in dealing with extremely difficult circumstances whilst taking on greater responsibility at home and showing the courage and commitment to succeed in her study.
Shelby has gained qualifications including digital literacy, working with others, health and safety, employability skills and a Level One in Business Administration.
Shelby has now gained a placement with an employer in a business administration role with a view to a permanent role on completion.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was announced as the winner. I’m so thankful to everyone at Rathbone Cymru for the support they’ve given me and it feels great to have my achievements recognised in this way,” said Shelby.
The National Awards event was held to celebrate successes from Rathbone Training Cymru’s centres across South West & Mid and South East Wales.
Other awards given to young people, colleagues and partners organisations included:
Foundation Apprentice of the Year – Zoe Thomas (Cardiff)
Apprentice of the Year – Emily Powell (Blackwood)
Level One learner of the Year – Leanne Jones (Barry)
Employee of the Year – Kath Loyns (Neath)
Employer of the Year – Tesco (Newport)
Partner of the Year – EYST (Carmarthen)
Sub-contractor of the Year – Track Training (Bridgend)
Trainee Placement Provider of the Year – Savers (Newport)
Rathbone Training is a charitable work based learning provider which works with over two thousand young people aged 16-24 in Wales every year.
“These are still extremely challenging times for young people looking for employment in Wales but our awards evening is a chance to recognise the hard work and dedication of our learners, colleagues and partners which is helping to change young people’s lives and help them into work,” said Paul Napier, Director for Rathbone Training Cymru.
Rathbone Training Cymru delivers work placement, traineeship and apprenticeship opportunities to support young people across Wales into further education, training or employment and have recently started to deliver Adult Employability programmes across South West & Mid and South East Wales.
Below is a highlights video of the fantastic awards night.