Inspiring Skills enters next Phase of project

Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales enters next Phase of project

The Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales project has been providing young people from across Wales with the opportunity to explore career pathways and, enhance and develop their skill sets through unconventional methods.

The Welsh Government funded initiative, combines three elements; Have a Go initiative, Skills Competition Wales and International Competitor Support through WorldSkills UK Wales, and support the skills required to increase the effectiveness of businesses.

Since it’s conception in 2014, the project has evolved significantly, and April 2020 saw the project officially enter into Phase 3 of the project's delivery. Whilst much of the delivery remains the same, the project is ambitious in its vision and aims to develop, and evolve to inspire and elevate young people’s aspirations to achieve excellence.

The Have a Go initiative, allows pupils from across Wales a taster of different career options with the use of high-tech equipment. The initiative hopes to encourage greater engagement with young people in schools and raise awareness of career pathways that will impact positively on businesses in Wales.

The project also inspires young people to achieve excellence through the establishment of skills competitions relevant to economic growth, and deliver medal-winning success at National and International Skills Competitions. With the infrastructure secured in Wales we are able to encourage young people to gain the skills required by employers and promote employment and wealth generation.

Phase 3 of the project delivery is set to build on the good practices achieved over the past years, with a key focus on evolving through close working partnerships with industry, education and Careers Wales. Our focus is to provide young people with greater experiences and employability skills for the future.

Paul Evans, Project Director for the Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales project said; “Engagement in each of the project strand is a great way for young people to test and showcase their skills and demonstrate their ability to be best in class.

We are extremely fortunate in Wales that we have the ability to inspire and nurture these skills along with competing in a global market. I am thrilled with Wales’ performance so far and am excited to continue with this support in future years”.

To highlight some of the changes and developments moving forward we’d like to welcome our newest members of the Team.

Carolyn Bailey, Administration Officer for Skills Competition Wales

Carolyn has worked in Education for over 20 years; with her previous role being in Student Support, supporting learners with visual/hearing impairments. Carolyn has a passion for the Armed services and is a volunteer for the Army Cadet Force. She is currently a Staff Sergeant Instructor and teaches and mentors 12-18 year-old cadets in all aspects of the ACF including Weapon Handling, Shooting, Fieldcraft, Drill, First Aid and Navigation - a hugely rewarding and fun role.

Carolyn joined the team in March 2020 as an Administration Officer with a primary focus on Skills Competition Wales. Her role involves dealing with all issues relating to this project; including dealing with enquiries from stakeholders and partners, attending Steering Group meetings and maintaining/uploading documents onto the SCW registration portal and monitoring its progress.

Michelle Snell, Have a Go Champion 

Michelle is originally from Cornwall but has lived in Wales now for almost 14 years, it’s now a home from home. Michelle studied Law as an undergraduate and postgraduate and has also trained as a teacher. She has worked in various FE/HE settings, as well as working as a long distance learning tutor. 

Michelle has always had a passion for teaching and learning and her aim is to bring this enthusiasm to the table to further develop the Have a Go initiative. Working closely with the wider team, Michelle has hit the ground running and is working to develop digital resources and content to further support young people with careers advice and guidance. Some of the key areas of work for Michelle include;

  • Working in collaboration with the Regional Skills Partnerships, Careers Wales and our partners to recognise the local needs of the economy
  • Exploring the development of bespoke workshops, tailored to specific sectors, which will provide an opportunity for young people to explore, experience and question the world-of work through fun and interactive sessions.
  • Challenging gender stereotypes in industry and, promoting equality and diversity
  • Exploring and collaboratively developing an Ambassador programme

Rhys Harries, Future Skills Champion 

Rhys joins the team with a varied and experienced background from working within the local councils in Wales to working for the NHS and within the private sector. Rhys is very passionate about sport and competition and is someone that always strives to develop and succeed. 

These traits lend themselves well to the role Rhys has in the team as he is taking the lead on helping to create a calendar of CPD and up-skill sessions for all those involved in the programme. He is looking to create strong links with experts and employers in the industry to improve the development of both the tutors and the learners throughout Wales. Rhys is very passionate to bring development and success to Team Wales. 

Some of the key areas of work for Rhys include;

  • Providing an infrastructure in Wales that captures and shares best practice amongst educators and industry
  • Exploring and providing CPD resources and opportunities to educators and industry.
  • Deliver the Agored Cymru Level 3 Award for Expert Practitioners in Inspiring Skills
  • Exploring and collaboratively developing an Ambassador programme
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