From education to employment

Educational Excellence: Jack Stevens’ Story

16-year-old Jack Stevens always harboured a dream of pursuing a career that would make a positive difference in people’s lives. Despite facing challenges in the classroom while growing up, he was determined to become the mentor he lacked during his own childhood.

Jack joined the Jobs Growth Wales+ programme through Itec Skills and Employment, a work-based learning provider based in Cardiff. Itec is one of the UK’s largest and most vocationally diverse work-based learning providers and has been delivering learning programmes for 40 years.

The Job Growth Wales+ programme is a comprehensive learning programme for 16–19-year-olds who are not in full-time education or employment, designed to equip them with the necessary skills and experience to secure employment, pursue an Apprenticeship, or continue with further education.

Jack initially struggled to absorb information conventionally but found his stride through hands-on learning experiences. Jack started a Level 2 qualification in Learning Support and Teaching and a placement was arranged for Jack at his previous school. This gave a structure to Jack’s daily life, providing him with a routine that supported his mental health and gave him a sense of purpose.

His role as a Teaching Assistant at Red Rose school solidified Jack’s path towards his desired career. His ambition is to attain a teaching degree and work full-time with children who have additional learning needs in a primary school setting.

Gethin Bibbs, a Team Leader of Itec’s Youth Engagement Officer team, speaks highly of Jack, describing him as a dedicated and enthusiastic learner. Gethin has been a pivotal figure in Jack’s journey, providing consistent guidance, encouragement, and support. Through tailored mentoring sessions and personalised feedback, Gethin has helped Jack navigate challenges and celebrate successes, fostering his growth and development. He states “As a Teaching Assistant at the Red Rose School in Cardiff, Jack’s enthusiasm for his role is evident during our monthly reviews. He actively engages with his responsibilities, showing genuine passion for supporting both teachers and students.”

Jack’s journey through the Jobs Growth Wales+ programme underscores his dedication to personal and professional growth, showcasing his clear goals within the education sector.

Reflecting on his experience with the Jobs Growth Wales+ programme, Jack expressed,

“My time at Itec opened my eyes to the possibility of shaping my future and excelling at it. School used to be a daunting place for me until I gained insight into the perspective of teachers. I now understand how I wished to be taught, and I’m eager to leverage my journey to assist others like me and adapt to their unique learning needs.”

Itec Skills and Employment

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