College training has helped Leon Proudlock go from a quiet and nervous teenager with no formal school qualifications to an outgoing, confident young man with an outstanding attitude to life, a good sense of humour and an ambition to work in hospitality.
The 18-year-old from Henllan, Denbigh has to deal with the lifelong battle of having cerebral palsy, coupled with learning difficulties. This often leaves him in pain, especially after long periods of standing.
Despite this Leon has volunteered in the College Shop, often standing for long periods of time. Leon has been an outstanding learner at Rhyl College and, following successful completion of the Traineeship Engagement course, has gained a Level 1 Btec in Personal Social Development and Essential Skills Comms.
He has started a new course in Grŵp Llandrillo Menai Rhos Campus, a big step for Leon that he never imagined possible. With the support of mum Sally, dad Conrad and younger siblings Rhys and Olivia, Leon says his goal is to increase his qualifications in Maths and English with a long-term aim of following his father’s footsteps in a career in hotels.
To reward Leon’s dedication, he has been shortlisted for the Traineeship Learner of the Year (Engagement) award at this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which take place at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on October 20.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the prestigious awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals, employers and learning providers who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships, Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeship programmes. The awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.
The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
“I always try my best and believe I am good with people,” said Leon, adding: “College has helped me learn new things and gain confidence.”
Carys Guy, Traineeships co-ordinator at Rhyl Campus, said: “Leon is caring and committed, he is an absolute star with a good work ethic.”
Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science Julie James congratulated Oliver and the other 32 shortlisted award finalists. “We are proud to be delivering a number of successful vocational training programmes with success rates for apprenticeships in Wales remaining well above 80 per cent,” she said.
“Developing skilled people is vital for our economy. We have some truly exceptional learners here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements. Equally important are the learning providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their learners.”