Working mother Corinna Roberts says that completing an apprenticeship has boosted her confidence and skills and brought value and fresh ideas to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in Newport where she works.
Corinna, 26, who lives in Tonypandy, has achieved a Foundation Apprenticeship and an Apprenticeship in Business Administration and secured a permanent Civil Service job while juggling parental responsibilities and learning to manage her mental health.
Supported by training provider ALS Training, she plans to continue her learning journey by progressing to either a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4), a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development or an Open University qualification.
Now Corinna’s commitment to learning has been recognised as she has been shortlisted for this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. She will be competing to become Foundation Apprentice of the Year 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.
Struggling with severe obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression when she joined IPO, Corinna now helps others as a diversity and inclusion officer and has established the first mental health awareness programme of its kind.
Having trained as a mental health champion and as an allies’ representative for the LGBT network, she has run across government awareness sessions with IPO and Companies House.
She was the first apprentice at IPO to work part-time and from home but was able to complete the programme in the same time as her peers while juggling parental responsibilities and health issues.
“My experiences prior to joining the Apprenticeship Programme made me believe I wasn’t going to achieve anything in life, but I have proven myself and others wrong,” said Corinna.
“I have gained confidence and new skills and brought value and fresh ideas into my organisation, something that may not have been unleashed or utilised if not for the Apprenticeship.”
Elaine Short, the IPO’s talent and learning specialist, said: “Corinna has had a few different roles during her Apprenticeship and has excelled with each change, demonstrating that she is flexible and quick to learn.”
Congratulating Corinna 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.”