“Exceptional” practitioner Gareth an inspiration to learners and colleagues

4 Mar 2024 News Learners

Gareth Lewis is described as an “exceptional” work-based learning practitioner, inspiring his learners and colleagues with his passion and drive for learning and commitment to the insurance industry.

Gareth, 55, from Hirwaun, is an assessor with ALS Training’s financial services team in Cardiff and excels in the way he delivers a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Insurance, achieving an 80% pass rate with his learners.

Relishing every challenge, Gareth is often the first point of contact within the financial services team for advice and guidance on both technical queries and delivery and also coaches and mentors new team members.

Now, Gareth has 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.

His strengths lie in his ability to motivate people to believe that they can achieve whatever they wish and adapting learning delivery to suit individual learners.

During the Covid pandemic, he developed his digital skills and worked closely with employers to design bespoke materials and resources to deliver remote workshops to learners. These skills have developed into blended learning, whereby training is now delivered face-to-face and remotely.

He also excels at supporting learners who are experiencing mental health challenges or have additional learning needs.

Gareth joined ALS Training more than 15 years ago, having previously managed a small commercial insurance office where he coached and trained staff.

He has achieved a series of qualifications to enhance his knowledge and skills, starting with an Apprenticeship in Learning and Development and CII Level 3 Certificate in Insurance, progressing to a Chartered Insurance Institute Level 4 Diploma, which he completed last November (2023).

Melanie Hodgson, route manager at ALS Training, said: “Gareth is an exceptional practitioner who has gone above and beyond to enhance learners’ careers and future pathways. The outstanding feedback received from learners and employers speaks for itself.”

Gareth said: “I enjoy my job and find it rewarding to see learners develop and progress. I put a lot of time into CPD and research because it gives me a sound technical knowledge to support learners.”

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated Gareth 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.

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