From education to employment

Healthy ambition – Cardiff and Vale College NHS apprentice Olivia is up for Apprenticeship Awards Cymru

Olivia Headley-Grant, an apprentice trained by Cardiff and Vale College, has been shortlisted for Foundation Apprentice of the Year at the Apprenticeship awards Cymru.

Olivia is employed by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. Olivia, 18, from Barry, joined the Regional Partnership Board’s team within strategic planning as an apprentice during the pandemic and completed a City & Guilds Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Administration, delivered by Cardiff and Vale College, in November last year.

Apprentice Olivia Headley-Grant’s ambition to do things better, faster and more efficiently is infectious in her team.

That’s the opinion of Cath Doman, Director of Health and Social Care Integration, who says: “Olivia stands out because of her hard work, commitment, resilience to change and her willingness to achieve better. We are an improved team, and NHS, because of the vital role Olivia plays.”

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru awards highlight the outstanding achievements, during unprecedented times, of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on November 10.

Highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, the awards are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Headline sponsor for the third year is Openreach.

Olivia has impressed everyone with her work for the Regional Partnership Board on a range of projects across NHS, local authorities and third sector to help improve people’s experience of care through joined up services.

Despite having to work remotely during the pandemic, Olivia thrived during her apprenticeship. She contributed to the Cardiff and Vale Learning Disabilities Transition Protocol and the Regional Outcomes Framework, which gathers data from across health and social care partners to shine a light on the impact they are having on people across the region.

Having secured a permanent post as an administration assistant, Olivia has been asked to provide diary management support to a director and she and her team have been nominated for the health board’s staff recognition awards.

She is also learning to speak Welsh because of the importance of the language in the NHS and partner organisations, as she looks to develop her career.

“Through the experience of my apprenticeship, I have become particularly interested in project management,” she said. “I am planning to undertake a course in project management, such as PRINCE2, in the near future.”

Cath praised Olivia for building strong relationships with the team and service and operational leads across the NHS and local authorities.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to see Olivia grow into a confident and highly thought of member of staff,” she said. “She is constantly challenging herself to do things better, faster and more efficiently – a level of ambition that is infectious and has spurred on the team to do better.”

Congratulating Olivia and all the other shortlisted finalists, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “Apprenticeships make a huge contribution to our economy and will be crucial as Wales continues to bounce back from the pandemic.

“They can help futureproof, motivate and diversify a workforce, offering people the chance to gain high-quality vocational skills.

“As part of our Young Person’s Guarantee, the Welsh Government will be investing £366 million over the next three years to deliver 125,000 all-age apprenticeships across Wales during the current term of government.

“We want to increase opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to develop transferable skills in the workplace and improve their lives. The investment will also help tackle skills shortages and gaps in priority sectors critical to drive productivity and economic growth, supporting our net zero ambitions, the every-day foundational economy and public services.”

Cardiff and Vale College Principal Sharon James said: “Congratulations to Olivia – we are all so proud of her! At CAVC we firmly believe in the value work based learning and apprentices can contribute to the Welsh workforce and wider economy so to see Olivia’s talent getting recognised in this way is tremendous.

“Good luck with the awards Olivia and a massive well done to everyone who has supported her to get this far!”

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

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