Helping on a community project, work experience at a supermarket and a work placement with a radio station has been the catalyst to help Kane Laver McMahon develop communication and teamwork skills.
The 19-year-old suffered anxiety and loneliness following a family move from Luton to Barry. But a 12-week Prince’s Trust programme run through Barry-based training organisation People Business Wales helped Kane overcome his challenges and improve his employability skills.
In recognition of his progress, Kane has been shortlisted for the Traineeship Learner of the Year (Level 1) at next month’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, the annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships.
Thirty-four finalists in a dozen categories are in the running for the prestigious awards, which will be presented at a high-profile ceremony at the new International Convention Centre Wales, Newport on October 24.
The awards showcase the successes of the best learners, employers, tutors and assessors in Wales who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeship and Apprenticeship programmes.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru has Openreach, the UK’s digital network business, as its premier sponsor this year. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
A community project to up-cycle old furniture in support of a children’s hospice boosted Kane’s confidence, which was further enhanced by a work placement at Waitrose which led to an offer of a Saturday job.
And Kane’s love of music landed him a work placement with Bro Radio where he now has a weekly two-hour show, giving a platform to unsigned musicians.
Kane successfully moved onto a Traineeship Level 1 with People Business Wales and is now studying for a Level 2 in Hospitality at Cardiff and Vale College.
People Business Wales Centre Manager Caroline Morris-Hills said: “Kane has embraced all the opportunities that have come his way and this has helped him regain confidence. He should be proud of what he has achieved.”
Kane added: “I have faced and overcome my anxiety and confidence issues. Moving from Luton was hard but joining People Business and doing my Traineeship helped me find new friends and gave me my confidence back.”
Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, congratulated Kane and all the other shortlisted finalists.
“Our Welsh Government’s Apprenticeships and Traineeship programmes are helping increasing numbers of people to gain the skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need,” he said.
“The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of everyone involved in those programmes from our star apprentices and employers, to learning providers and trainees.”