As we continue to celebrate the value of Apprenticeships with Apprenticeship Week Wales, Matthew Hayward shares details of how apprenticeship programmes and college support turned around his experience of learning and led to success.
Diploma in Playwork, Higher apprenticeships in Leadership for both Children’s Care, Learning and Development and Health and Social Care Services
“I'm currently studying towards a Level 4 in Advice and Guidance. This qualification is primarily aimed at individuals who provide advice and guidance support to others, and recognises that employment in these sectors involves a diverse range of functions, tasks and activities. I have, however, faced some challenges reaching this point!
In 2014, whilst working for Swansea Council, I completed my first apprenticeship Diploma in Playwork, a qualification designed for those looking for a career in a range of playwork settings such as playgroups, schools and leisure centres. Unfortunately, due to having learning difficulties including dyslexia and dyspraxia, I was unable to complete my BA Hons degree. At that time, I felt I was a failure and that there was no way I would ever do another course in an educational setting again!
Despite these feelings, the support I received from Pembrokeshire College has ensured my success. I later went on to complete higher apprenticeships in Leadership for both Children’s Care, Learning and Development and Health and Social Care Services. My tutor, Marjorie Fletcher, has supported me throughout my apprenticeships. Marjorie has encouraged me to develop my skills and to continue with assessments when I felt like I could not reach the goals set. She’s fantastic!
Having gained these qualifications, I’m now a new person! I understand my strengths and weaknesses as a learner and my confidence has soared! My career has progressed hugely, and I can now use the skills and knowledge I have learnt to help service users. I currently work as a Support Officer for Swansea Council Social Services and am working towards completing Advice and Guidance Level 4.
As I reflect, I’m so grateful to the staff at Pembrokeshire College for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to develop not only in my professional career but also as an individual.”