A Treorchy woman, who has rejuvenated her career at the age of 53 thanks to a Higher Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management, is in contention to win a major award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2015.
Janet Bevan, a principal occupational therapist for Cwm Taf University Health Board in Llantrisant, Is one of three finalists shortlisted in the Higher Apprentice of the Year category at the high profile awards ceremony to be held at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Thursday, October 29.
The coveted awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have exceeded expectations, shown a dynamic approach to training and demonstrated initiative, enterprise, innovation, creativity and commitment to the improvement of skills development for the Welsh economy.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and media partner is Media Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Janet already had an Occupational Therapy degree as well as many other qualifications but, in order to progress her career, needed more confidence. She says the Higher Apprenticeship has “transformed” her, so much so that soon after starting the programme she was promoted to principal occupational therapist for the Older Person’s Mental Health Service.
“The knowledge and skills I gained had boosted my confidence in my ability to manage, so after much persuasion, I applied for the promotion,” she said. “This happened just as I got married and I had to prepare for my interview whilst on honeymoon!”
Janet managed a team of 19 staff whilst also completing her ILM Level 5 in Leadership and Management and the Management NVQ Diploma Level 5. She attended study days organised by training provider ACT Limited and met her assessor every month, but had to complete the work in her own time.
“Working full time with the additional management responsibilities, as well as completing the course, was hard but it was worth it,” she said. “I continually use the skills I have gained to improve and develop my team and the service we deliver.”
She is now planning to study for the Level 7 Management Award with the ILM.
Alyson Davies, Cwm Taf University Health Board’s assistant director of therapies and health science, said: “Janet demonstrates excellent leadership and management to her team and deserves this recognition.”
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Julie James congratulated Janet and the other 36 award finalists. “We have some truly exceptional apprentices here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements,” she said.
“Equally important are the training providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their apprentices. Developing skilled young people is vital for our economy. The Welsh Government is committed to training programmes such as Apprenticeships but investment must be a shared responsibility with the education sector, businesses and individuals.”