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Engineering assessor Steve Manning is in contention for an award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2015 after showing incredible commitment to his students through his battle with cancer.
Steve, 53, from Llantwit Major, is one of the four finalists shortlisted in the Work-Based Learning Practitioner of the Year category at the high profile awards ceremony to be held at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Thursday, October 29.
The coveted awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have exceeded expectations, shown a dynamic approach to training and demonstrated initiative, enterprise, innovation, creativity and commitment to the improvement of skills development for the Welsh economy.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and media partner is Media Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Steve works for Coleg Y Cymoedd as an engineering assessor, supporting more than 40 apprentices across British Airways sites in Cardiff, Blackwood and Llantrisant, as well as Arriva Trains in Cardiff.
He joined the college in Ystrad Mynach in October 2013, having spent most of working life with the RAF as an aircraft engineer and later, Cardiff City Bus.
Then, in July 2014, he had to go through major surgery, followed by months of chemotherapy.
Steve immediately put into place processes to support his learners, insisting that he would co-ordinate their learning remotely. He also introduced a new â€œbuddyâ€ system, whereby final year apprentices mentor first years.
â€œThe chemotherapy really drained me and I felt sick a lot of the time but it was important to me not to let my apprentices down,â€ said Steve, who is now well and back at work. I had an incredible amount of support from students and colleagues, which really helped me through it.â€
Matthew Tucker, head of school at Coleg Y Cymoedd, who nominated Stephen for the award, said: â€œHeâ€™s never lost focus of his learners and has astounded us with his relentless positive attitude and motivation.â€
Zoe Batten, an MA Engineering Apprentice with British Airways, said: â€œDuring his illness he was still putting his students first. He ensured that he could always be reached by email to answer any questions or concerns, kept in touch with all students and also marked work.â€
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Julie James congratulated Sreve and the other 36 award finalists. â€œWe have some truly exceptional apprentices and learners here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements,â€ she said.
â€œEqually important are the training providers, employers and practitioners who go the extra mile to support their apprentices. Developing skilled young people is vital for our economy. The Welsh Government is committed to training programmes such as Apprenticeships but investment must be a shared responsibility with the education sector, businesses and individuals.â€
Rhondda Cynon Taff
Heol y Coleg
Rhondda Cynon Taff