June 14, 2024

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Finalist Sioned is making a genuine difference to learners and colleagues

The joint co-ordinator of Urdd Gobaith Cymru’s Essential Skills HWB is a work-based learning practitioner who makes a genuine difference to the wellbeing of learners and work colleagues.

Sioned Roberts, 29, from Cardiff, who has worked for the Urdd since 2021, cares passionately that all learners have a voice and that all Welsh speaking learners have equal opportunities to study in their own language or bilingually.

She and a colleague jointly lead the planning, creation, and delivery of the Urdd’s Essential Skills Wales programmes which include communication and application of number and digital literacy, from Entry Level to Level 3 through the medium of Welsh and bilingually.

Sioned has now been shortlisted for the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2024 as a Work-based Learning Practitioner of the Year finalist.

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 is EAL.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held at ICC Wales, Newport on March 22, 2024. The awards highlight the outstanding achievements of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.

A former secondary school teacher, Sioned creates tailored teaching resources for colleagues and learners and is responsible for the HWB’s partnerships with colleges and training providers.

Sioned also contributes to the development of managers, assessors and tutors by running training, assessments, workshops and teaching sessions to promote Welsh medium and bilingual learning and integrate the skills they learn into vocational courses.

A qualified mental health first aider in the workplace, she works with learners, often one-to-one, from a wide range of backgrounds and with varying needs and learning barriers.

Constantly seeking to improve support for learners with additional learning needs, she has obtained a Hidden Difficulties Level 3 qualification from the British Dyslexia Association, attends courses and research’s teaching methods.

Working with the Urdd’s first inclusion and diversity apprentices, she has developed sessions to be inclusive of language, culture and learners’ linguistic needs.

“The main thing I get out of this job is seeing learners develop confidence in their Welsh skills both inside and outside of work,” said Sioned, who is focused on further developing the HWB and partnerships.

Catrin Davis, the Urdd’s head of apprenticeships, said: “Sioned is hard-working, helpful and passionate about ensuring that her learners succeed and that the Welsh language thrives. The development and success of her learners are at the heart of everything she does.”

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated Sioned and all the other finalists. “Today’s apprentices will be tomorrow’s specialists, and Apprenticeship Awards Cymru allows us to recognise apprentices, work-based learning practitioners, and employers that have gone above and beyond,” he said.

“Their tenacity, passion, and commitment to growing their own careers, the careers of others, and the larger Welsh economy is inspiring. I wish each of the finalists the best of luck at the awards and with their future endeavours.”

Congratulating the finalists, Al Parkes, managing director at EAL, said: “As the specialist awarding organisation and skills partner for the engineering and manufacturing industry, apprenticeships in Wales are especially important to us.

“Apprenticeships play an important role in supporting personal progress through career opportunities and a sense of achievement, while ensuring that employers have the right skills at the right time to keep up with evolving industry needs.

“EAL is committed to encouraging employers to take on apprentices. Marking the achievements of employers, apprentices, and work-based learning practitioners at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru is vital to this.”

For more information about recruiting an apprentice, visit: https://gov.wales/apprenticeships-genius-decision or call 03000 603000.
Picture caption:

Sioned Roberts, making a difference.