Jac Ellis has overcome many barriers to find a job he loves with Ross Hughes Flooring where he has developed his skills through a Traineeship and the Jobs Growth Wales programme.
Now the 18-year-old from Caernarfon Is in contention to win a major award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2015.
He is one of three finalists shortlisted in the Traineeship (Engagement) Learner 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.
Jac left school with no qualifications, having been frustrated with a tag of having learning difficulties. Although he succeeded in an Animal Care level 2 programme at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Glynllifon Campus, he realised it was not the career direction he was looking for.
Through learning provider Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, Jac enrolled on a 16-week Traineeship Engagement AIM4 team building and motivational experiences programme including development of his literacy and numeracy skills.
He secured a four-week placement with Ross Hughes Flooring who realised his potential from day one and recognised his commitment and willingness to learn in a work environment where he thrives.
Jac has progressed to the Jobs Growth Wales programme and hopes the next step will be a Foundation Apprenticeship in Flooring.
Eric Christie, of Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, said: “The Traineeship offered Jac something different and refreshing and gave him a new outlook on what and how you can learn.”
Jac said: “At school I was told I had learning difficulties but I never felt that way. This training showed that I can learn and I’m not going to stop learning every day.”
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Julie James congratulated Jac and the other 36 award finalists. “We have some truly exceptional apprentices and learners 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.”