From education to employment

Tutor who uses her dyslexia to inspire learners is an award finalist

Stephanie Fry overcome dyslexia barriers.

Many people see dyslexia as a barrier. Tutor Stephanie Fry however focuses on the opportunity it provides to successfully support her learners to achieve their full potential.

As skills manager for Wales England Care, Stephanie, 29, from Newport, manages a small team of skills coaches and specialises in supporting dyslexic learners, using her own experience of the learning disorder to do so.

Stephanie was diagnosed with dyslexia in 2007 whilst at college, going on to achieve a Degree in Public Services in 2013. She reflects on her own learning journey to help learners overcome their fear of Maths and English, sadly often a legacy of their previous school experience.

In recognition of her work, Stephanie has been shortlisted for the Work-based Learning Tutor of the Year award at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021.

This annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships will see 35 finalists compete in 12 categories for awards. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on April 29.

Highlight of the work-based learning calendar, the awards showcase businesses and individuals who have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes and gone the extra mile to achieve success during these unprecedented times.

The awards are jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Openreach, the UK’s digital network business and passionate supporter of apprenticeships, has renewed its headline sponsorship of the awards.

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

Having previously been a support worker, Stephanie joined Wales England Care in 2017 and is passionate about continuous learning.

Having completed a Health and Social Care Level 3 Diploma and both an Essential Skills in Communication and Learning and Development at Level 3, she is now working towards an Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management.

Promotion to Essential Skills tutor has seen her managing a caseload of learners, delivering Communication, Application of Number and Digital Literacy qualifications, creating learning workbooks to help her students and tailoring support to their specific needs.

Focused on her continuous professional development, Stephanie joined Wales England Care’s Leaders of the Future Scheme in 2019, developing training plans to enhance learner experience and sharing best practice with colleagues.

“I no longer see dyslexia as a barrier, but as an opportunity to support others in the same way that I was supported to overcome challenges and to achieve my full potential,” said Stephanie.

Helen Harris, Wales England Care’s quality manager, said : “Steph feels her experience has helped her to gain the ability to relate to learners and adapt her approach on an individual basis.”

Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said: “Our Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes are helping people fulfil their career ambitions and I’m delighted we have already reached our target of creating 100,000 apprenticeships in this Senedd term. 

“This has been key in helping apprentices of all ages to gain important skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need. This will be vital as we emerge from the pandemic.

“Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of all involved, from star apprentices to skilled learning providers.

“I’d like to congratulate all the finalists announced for this year’s event and wish each and every one all the best for the future.”

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