Chosen as a finalist in the prestigious Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards 2019,
Jonathan Thomas – or JT as he is known to his Caerphilly and Bristol-based DAS Legal Expenses work colleagues – has followed a vocational learning pathway since leaving school, more than 30 years ago.
The 50-year-old dad of three started with DAS as a Claims Handler, working his way through the ranks as a Trainer, Team Leader, Assistant Manager and now Contact Centre Manager. His latest training successes include ILM Level 5 NVQ Diploma in Management and Leadership, Essential Skills Wales Digital Literacy Level 2, and a Foundation degree in Applied Professional Practice, all delivered in partnership with Cardiff-based ALS Training and Cardiff Metropolitan University.
This latest training has seen Jonathan develop skills in problem-solving, public speaking, and leading business projects; more importantly, his ability to remove inefficiencies within the business has led to significant organisational change. This has seen improvements to processes, resourcing and staff allocation, cultural change to boost staff morale and well-being, and various optimisation projects that has led to company savings of more than £600,000 year on year.
His efforts have been recognised as a finalist in the Higher Learner of the Year category of this year’s VQ Awards, which are designed to reward individuals and organisations for their commitment, hard work and achievements.
DAS Group Director of Customer Operations & IT Tony Coram said: “Jon has played a major part in driving change and vocational learning has added real value to Jon’s confidence and style of management.”
Jonathan is full of praise for his family: “I have made significant personal sacrifices during my studies which would not have been possible without the support of my family, employers and quality of training from ALS.”
Sean Driscoll, Team Manager at ALS Training, said: “Jonathan’s commitment to learning and his personal and professional development has proved him to be an exemplary learner. He has truly maximized the potential of his vocational learning.”
Now in their 12th year, the VQ Awards celebrate those who use technical, practical and vocational qualifications to achieve success. A Vocational Qualification – VQ- award is a symbol of dedication towards your chosen profession. The awards help us to celebrate those Welsh learners, trainers and employers who are already going that extra mile when it comes to developing vocational skills and qualifications.
There are four award categories – VQ Intermediate Learner of the Year, VQ Higher Learner of the Year, VQ Trainer of the Year and VQ Employer of the Year – which encompass the spectrum of learning, training and employment.
Also shortlisted finalists in the Higher category are Charlotte O’Brien and Reagan Locke.
The winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony held at the National Museum Cardiff on May 15. The ceremony coincides with VQ Day, which celebrates vocational achievement and the benefits of technical, practical and vocational learning to both the individual and the Welsh economy.
The awards are jointly organised by the Welsh Government, the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), ColegauCymru/CollegesWales, Qualifications Wales and the Education Workforce Council. The Welsh Government’s funding has support from the European Social Fund.