Important things you need to know
Staff in the spotlight
ACT hits 30 year milestone...
Apprenticeship Cymru Awards 2018 finalists announced...
This month we have put the spotlight on Bethany-Kate Clapp!
contents Important things you need to know
Getting to know senior management
Business services apprenticeships leading in tech
Who we are... MTS
Staff in the spotlight
Time to change
Welcome to our new recruits
I would like to kick start this issue by saying Penblwydd Hapus ACT! Wow, what a month it has been. As I’m sure many of you know, this September we celebrated our 30th anniversary. It’s an incredible feat to achieve and one we’re all very proud of. Here’s to many more years to come! We have lots to report on in this month’s issue, including coverage from the two fantastic events we hosted in honour of our 30th milestone, informative interviews from our brilliant staff and some important business updates. We also have an abundance of success stories to share and much more. Enjoy the sixth issue and as always don’t forget to continue to share all your fantastic success stories with us. We love to hear all about the great things you’re doing!
important things you need to know... WORKING WALES TENDER UPDATE
Our bid for the Working Wales tender has now been submitted, with the outcome of the tender due to be revealed in November. We’ll keep you informed as and when we hear the results.
From 1st September, our Traineeship delivery in Swansea transferred to our partner Inspire Training, with Bridgend and Barry becoming one region and OPH acting as a standalone region. All staff moving to Inspire Training will remain in the ‘ACT family’, with Inspire Training responsible for all staff permanently assigned to that region.
THE BEST COMPANIES B-HEARD SURVEY WILL HIT YOUR INBOX ON THE 2ND OCTOBER. Staff happiness is one of our strategic aims, and we're always trying to make ACT an even better place to work. As such, we really want to hear what you have to say. If you have any difficulties accessing the survey when it’s issued please contact the P&D team.
DEATH BENEFIT POLICY In the coming weeks we will be providing a Death in Service (group life assurance) scheme to all staff, which will help their family and dependants in the event of their death whilst employed by ACT Training. The scheme we are considering will pay a flat rate of £25,000 to the beneficiaries of staff members in the unfortunate event of their death whilst in employment with ACT Training. The scheme looks to provide staff with some reassurance that should anything happen to them, their family would be supported through what would already be a very traumatic time.
Management Team job swap, between now and December, the SMT will once again be relocating to another team. This gives members of our SMT the opportunity to experience first-hand the day-to-day roles of other teams within the business. This swap will see the following staff relocate for a full day into the following departments:
Helen Hallam (Acting PR & Marketing Manager) – Schools Tutor
Richard Spear (Managing Director) – AWO Traineeships/ CSG Co-ordinator
Our bid for the Working Wales tender has now been submitted, with the outcome of the tender due to be revealed in November.
Andrew Cooksley (CEO) – Traineeship Tutor Louise Williams (Finance Director) – Partner Quality Manager Caroline Cooksley (Development Director) – Reception OPH Rebecca Cooper (Head of P&D) – Traineeship Regional Manager Katy Wolar (Senior Programme Manager Traineeships) – Facilities/Purchasing/Finance Bethan Maund (Senior Apprenticeship Manager) – Administration Kelly Rowlands (Senior Schools Provision Manager) – P&D
Kathryn Wing (Network Quality Manager) – Apprenticeship Assessor
Following on from the success of last year’s Senior
John Nelmes (Financial Controller) – MTS Tutor
Claire Mirbelle (Senior Client Development Manager) – Essential Skills Tutor Matthew Burnett (Operations Manager) – Marketing & Business Development
Lisa Edwards (Learning for Work Manager) – Apprenticeship Regional Manager Please look out for them and give them an interesting day in your departments!
getting to knowâ€Ś
Who are you and what’s your role?
What are your plans for the future of ACT?
Claire Mirbelle, Senior Development Manager. I report into Caroline Cooksley, Development Director.
To continue delivering superb levels of service to clients. Their happiness is essential to earning their loyalty and this in turn hugely increases our likelihood of meeting our contract value and guaranteeing Apprenticeship growth for the future.
What are you responsible for? Managing the Business Development Team for apprenticeships and ACT’s Commercial training offering, which is made up of the following: Business Development responsible for looking after and retaining our clients and ensuring we source enough starts from those clients in order to hit our contract. Apprenticeship Advisors responsible for signing up learners and ensuring they get the best possible start to their programme. On average we bring in about 180 new starts a month. Apprenticeship Vacancy Co-ordinator - manages client vacancies and co-ordinates the entire process from start to finish. Commercial Co-ordinator co-ordinates all commercial training and room hire, linking in with clients, learners and the delivery team. Last year we invoiced over £160K of commercial income!
What’s the biggest challenge your team faces? Learners are human and we have to be extremely flexible and pro-active to ensure we get learners on programme when needed, whilst at the same time being incredibly empathetic toward the real life issues they have. What is your proudest moment at ACT? Receiving the 360 feedback from my team – it made me happy cry. Tell us something we wouldn’t know about you? I am bilingual French and actually not scary!
We proudly celebrated our 30th birthday this month, and to honour this milestone occasion we hosted two epic events. On the 15th September staff and their families were invited to a Street Food Shindig at the OPH site, to enjoy a free feast of street food, live music and entertainment. The party was a huge hit, with Caroline Cooksley adding: “A big thank you to everyone who came along on the day to celebrate with us. It was great to see everyone with their families having fun!” On the 26th September we hosted a formal event at the Senedd for our stakeholders, employers and learners to join together and celebrate 30 years of ACT. With special guest speaker First Minister Carwyn Jones in attendance, the event was sponsored by Cardiff South and Penarth AM Vaughan Gething and our very own ACT Skills Ambassador Jonathan Davies. The evening was a huge success with Andrew Cooksley commenting, “Back in 1988,
I could not have imagined that we would be where we are today, celebrating our many and vast achievements. Here’s to 30 more brilliant years.”
30 YEAR 30 GIFTS Throughout the year, to honour our 30th birthday, we will be offering giveaways to staff, employers and partners. Keep an eye out for monthly competition emails, quizzing staff on all things ACT related. Good luck everybody!
VAUGHAN GETHING VISITS ACT On 17th September Cardiff South and Penarth AM Vaughan Gething visited ACT’s OPH site as part of his plans to announce a National Care Service. Focusing particularly on residential care and the importance of a well-trained workforce, the AM chatted to our Traineeship Care Learners and Assessors.
Here are some of ACT’s top achievements of the last few weeks. Many congratulations to everyone who has contributed to the achievements.
APPRENTICESHIP CYMRU FINALISTS We are proud to announce that three of our nominations for this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru have been shortlisted as finalists. Known as the most prestigious awards in our sector, the awards celebrate exceptional learners and practitioners who are doing fantastic things. Stella Vasiliou, Traineeship Construction Learner – nominated under Traineeship Learner of the Year Kirsty Keane, Health and Social Care and Early Years Care Tutor – nominated under Work-based Learning Practitioner of the Year (tutor) Carly Murray, Education and Development Assessor/IQA –
nominated under Work-based Learning Practitioner of the Year (assessor) An enormous well done to you all and we wish you the very best of luck on the night!
ACT SCHOOLS CELEBRATE UNPRECEDENTED SUCCESS ON GCSE RESULTS DAY We are thrilled to report that ACT Schools’ learners have achieved their highest GCSE results to date. The Schools’ unprecedented success saw all learners who sat exams, passing a range of subjects, with many securing positive destinations following on from their results. Commenting on the Schools’ success, Kelly Rowlands,
Schools Provision Manager said, “It has been a pivotal year for ACT Schools with us gaining independent school status, so to now see this positive progression with our learners is just fantastic. It really is testament to the hard work and effort of all the Schools staff and the learners themselves.” Well done to all the learners and Schools staff for their hard work and efforts.
ROUTE SURPASSES EXPECTATIONS Results are in and we are ecstatic to report that we have exceeded our 2017-2018 Apprenticeship contract, and it looks like our overall framework completion rate will be over 80%. It’s an
incredible achievement and we applaud all staff from the Apprenticeship route for all their efforts. A huge thanks also to Tracey, Julie and the Essential Skills team who worked really hard to support the routes with the achievements of our learners. We are predicting our highest ever performance in both activity success and progressions for our
ACT has given me the confidence to pass my course by giving me the very best tutor Traineeship programme. This continues the upward trend from last year and is testament to all the hard work and commitment of our delivery teams to deliver fantastic learning programmes, both at ACT and in our network of Partners. To date MTS received in excess of 10,000 bookings and engaged with over 6,000 participants. September 2018 was their busiest month to date, seeing an increase of 18% on their September 2017 claim. To find out more about the services MTS provide head to page 16.
Here is some positive feedback recognising those individuals who went above and beyond from the apprenticeship route. Emma Huggins (Business Services Assessor) - “Bringing in over 20 additional learners this year, Emma also helped out doing reviews and IALPS while we were short staffed. She always gives 100%” Louisa Mallett (Business Services Tutor) - “Louisa has done everything she can to support the team throughout the end of contract. Her positivity rubs off on everyone - especially the learners!” Zara Jones (Management Higher Apprenticeship Assessor) “All of Zara’s learners were highly motivated by her and the exceptional support she provides.” Rachel Healion (Management Higher Apprenticeship Assessor) - “Rachel has a positive ‘can do’ attitude and proved that inherited learners can still be re-engaged and encouraged to achieve.” Joshua Watkins (Management Assessor) - “Despite only being in WBL for the past year, Joshua has achieved a great deal, gaining both his assessor award and his Learning & Development Apprenticeship.” Mel Ingram (IT Assessor) “Within 4-5months of starting, Mel took over the Neath project
and completed all learners, all of whom gave excellent feedback on her and the delivery.” Richard Hatherall (IT, SM, DM, Assessor/Curriculum Developer) - “Despite numerous health setbacks, Richard covered a co-worker’s entire caseload and still completed the highest number of learners.” Lara Baldwin (CCLD Assessor) - “Lara is an exceptional member of the team. She always secures repeat business and progressions for the department.”
LEARNERS: HAYLEY CARTER Well done to learner Catherine Carr, who overcame many personal barriers to learning to complete her QCF Level 5 Advanced Practice in Children’s Care, Learning and Development. Catherine’s family celebrated her success with a “Graduation” party and invited Catherine’s CCLD Assessor, Hayley Carter. Speaking of her achievement, Catherine said. “ACT has given me the confidence to pass my course by giving me the very best tutor, Hayley. With hard work can do anything you put your mind to.” Read more about Catherine’s story here: https:// bit.ly/2wZ54LN
MICHELLE BERRY CHARITY STORY Well done to learner Michelle Berry, who recently raised £300 for Help for Heroes by completing 374,652 steps (150 miles) over 31 days! Michelle, who has progressed from her Level 2 in Accounting to her Level 4, raises money for a different charity of her choice every year. Michelle’s assessor, Steve Marshall, Providing Financial Services Assessor and Curriculum Coordinator, commented, “Fantastic effort Michelle! All of ACT are very proud of you. Well Done.”
A CUT ABOVE THE REST Liam O’Brien, who completed his Level 2 Hairdressing & Barbering course with ACT, has recently set up his very own “Office Barber” premises in Cardiff. Paying it forward, he has also taken on an ACT Trainee, Mikey Johnson, who is currently undertaking his Level 1 in Barbering. Lesley Hanson, Hairdressing Tutor/Assessor, commented, “Liam has worked really hard and it has been a pleasure to be a part of his success.”
STEPPING TO THE CHALLENGE A massive congratulations to Nathan Blackwell, Partner Quality Improvements and Performance Manager, who carried out a gruelling step challenge on the 20th July in aid of the Children’s Cancer charity ‘LATCH’. Nathan completed an unbelievable 78,000 steps within 12-14 hours, successfully raising £2,911.37! Well done Nathan on a fantastic result.
Did you know... Digital Learner Journey training sessions (covering digital sign up and digital learner reviews/learning plans) have been running throughout September. The next one will be held on the 1st October â€“ head to CascadeGo to book your place.
Business Services Apprenticeships Leading In Tech 14
ACT is always striving to improve the quality of the learning programmes we provide and the Business Services Apprenticeships team are doing just that, with their digitally led workshops.
enhances the learners’ experience and avoids a lot of confusion.” Lisa Beecham, Business Services Apprenticeships Tutor, created online Learner Handbooks using
"I use tech in my teaching, not just for tech’s sake but because it genuinely enhances the learners’ experience and avoids a lot of confusion." Using Classroom Nearpods (an interactive learning experience that engages everyone simultaneously on their devices) learners are given real time quizzes and collaborations where they can post answers and questions anonymously and get immediate feedback from their tutors. Louisa Mallett, Business Services Apprenticeships Tutor, commented “I use tech in my teaching, not just for tech’s sake but because it genuinely
Sway which gives learners tips on what to expect from the sessions and which apps they’ll be encouraged to utilise. Stored on SharePoint, the handbooks are updated automatically so everyone is always using the most current version.
At the end of their workshop or session, learners are given an online feedback form, providing tutors the opportunity to review and amend the content. The feedback so far has been really positive. “I enjoyed the collaboration slides to see other people’s opinions and ideas.” “I enjoy the technology side of these workshops. It makes the learning experience both enjoyable and easier to remember.” Rebecca Small, Business Services Apprenticeships Route Manager commented, “As more of our team and learners find new ways to integrate apps into their workshops and learning, the whole process of how we deliver in our route progresses.”
Lisa commented: “The team always ask – does this improve the learner experience? We’re always looking for and developing smarter ways of doing things to improve our delivery.”
Did you know... There’s an ACT Tech Lab Team on SharePoint where staff share tech resources and ideas. Go, get involved!
BUSINESS SERVICES APPRENTICESHIPS FAVOURITE APPS: Nearpod Enhances classroom based sessions/ adapted to a learner led online resource.
Trello Organises information in a visual way. Allows teams to collaborate on any project.
Padlet Makes beautiful boards, documents etc that are easy to read and fun to add to.
Popplet Acts as a mind-map that helps students capture and organise ideas.
Mentimeter.com Creates interactive presentations, workshops etc. that are innovative The ap ps are and fun. fr ee or A CT already has a subscri ption
Who we are... MTS Who are MTS?
MTS stands for Managed Training Services. We deliver training to unemployed people throughout Wales to help them develop and gain the skills needed to move into employment. What types of training do MTS deliver? Our MTS tutors can deliver a wide range of courses including: Mental Health First Aid, Retail Academy, Canine First Aid, Hospitality Academy, Health and Safety training, Employability Skills and Food Safety Catering. Our Mental Health First Aid
course in particular has become increasingly popular. What providers do you work with?
We have worked with 105 subproviders pan-Wales to date as part of the programme, 52 of which we work with on a regular basis to help us deliver training across 20 employment sectors. These include; Administration, Hair & Beauty, Construction, Health & Social Care and Plant, Rail and Security. MTS react to changing needs across Wales and therefore are always interested in expanding on our network of sub-providers â€“ this ensures
that if someone needs to be trained quickly to satisfy a job offer, we already have a provider in place, wherever that may be.â€Ż Our busiest sectors include Construction, Plant and Beauty. Which advisors do you work with? We work with CFW (Communities for Work) and Pace (Parents Childcare and Employment) advisors throughout the whole of Wales, from South to North. Each advisor has a number of participants that need specific training to get them into certain job roles. Their requests for courses can vary hugely. Our most unusual request was for Under Water Welding.
quality WE HAVE A NEWLY APPOINTED INTERNAL SKILLS AMBASSADOR MICHAEL RAMSDEN.
field. There are a number of different categories to compete in: Engineering & Technology, IT & Enterprise, Hospitality & Lifestyle, Schools, Media & Creative and Construction & Infrastructure. Success in the Welsh Skills Competition can lead to entry in the World Skills event. If you have any inspiring learners from our Traineeships and Apprenticeships programmes who youâ€™d like to encourage to enter then contact Michael Ramsden.
The ambassador role is to raise awareness of competitions and encourage and inspire learners from our Traineeships and Apprenticeships programmes to enter. Competitions provides learners with an opportunity to compete and showcase their particular skills in a chosen category.
SAR 2017/18 SKILLS COMPETITION WALES
It is time to review our successes and areas to improve. The Quality team and managers are in the process of engaging with all staff to gather all our highlights, learner and employer cases studies and feedback.
This is a series of vocational competitions delivered and promoted on behalf of the Skills Champions Network. The competitions are designed and led by industry experts seeking to find learners with the best practical skills and knowledge in their
At ACT we are proud to work in partnership with a strong network of committed, enthusiastic and passionate work-based learning providers. Those who share our values and strive to achieve excellence through collaboration. Here is a comprehensive list of the partners ACT currently work with: AAA Training Solutions
British Printing Industry Federation (BPIF)
Hen Felin Training INSPIRE Training (GE) Ltd
The Academy of Hair and Beauty
The British Racing School (BRS)
Urdd Gobaith Cymru
Call of the Wild
Cardiff City FC Community Foundation
Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training (HCT)
welsh corner/ cornel cymraeg
APIAU CYMRAEG NEWYDD!!
NEW WELSH APPS!
Mae ystod o Apiau newydd wedi cael eu datblygu ar gyfer addysg bellach sydd hefyd yn werthfawr i ni yn y sector dysgu yn seiliedig ar waith.
A range of Welsh apps have been developed by Colegau Cymru for further education which are also very useful for us in Work based learning.
Maent ar gael ar gyfer:
• • • • • •
• • • • • •
Adeiladwaith Gofal Cerbydau Modur Twristiaeth Gwasanaethau Busnes Dysgu dwyieithog
Dilynwch y ddolen gyswllt am fwy o wybodaeth ac adnoddau ychwanegol: http://www.adnoddau. cymru/
Build Environment Care Motor Vehicle Tourism Business Services Bilingual teaching
Follow the link for more information and extra resources: http://www.adnoddau.cymru/
Last issue our recommended read was “How to Win Friends”. Thank you to everyone who got on board with the book club, ordered a copy and read the book. Some great feedback was received, a selection is featured below. “As a lover of crime fiction and humour, I was daunted at the prospect of this book. Of the ‘selfhelp’ books I own, I prefer mine more tongue in cheek-truths and honest humour. Alas, with this classic, it was written with old fashion language and a relatively formal tone. There are
a few light hearted classic quotes but I’d hoped for something relevant to the modern day workplace. He lost me when he started chapter one with “shortly after World War I...” LOUISA MALLET
This month's read... This issue our recommended read is – ‘Factfulness’. A timely, short and essential book about the power of facts in a post-truth world, by late international sensation Hans Rosling. The book which is a #1 bestseller in The Sunday Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian and Irish Times bestseller as well as an Audio bestseller is called 'One of the most important books I've ever read - an indispensable guide to
thinking clearly about the world.' By Microsoft founding legend Bill Gates.
TO ORDER YOUR COPY EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and centre. Please submit your thoughts and feedback after reading this book through to Rachael Lewis – as this will feature in the next issue of ACT Insight.
staff in the spotlight...
This month we put the spotlight on Bethany-Kate Clapp, Data Administrator at our Caerphilly Centre since February 2011. Tell us a little bit about your role, and what your average day looks like.
unicorn obsessed 3 year old! Where is the best place you have travelled to?
I've worked for ACT for nearly 8 years now as a Data Administrator at the Caerphilly Centre. I deal with all sorts! Pay, Welsh Government paperwork, learners… you name it and it comes to me.
Cuba! It’s such a beautiful place! I visited Havana and it's out of this world. A proper throwback to 1950's with the American vintage cars. It's a totally different world out there.
What is the most rewarding part of your current role? The most rewarding part is the support I'm able to provide to both staff and learners. Being able to help someone even in the smallest way is a big deal for me. I hate when I can't solve someone else's problem. It costs nothing to be kind and if I can help I will… regardless of whether it's my job or not.
What was the last album you listened to? Panic at the Disco, “I write sins not tragedies.” I’m reliving my teenage years. Ha ha! What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Working in a fish shop whilst at college! The smell of chip fat still turns my stomach. The smell would stick your clothes...yuck!
The most rewarding part is the support I'm able to provide to both staff and learners Tell us an interesting fact about yourself…
How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working?
I have 19 tattoos and counting! I'm also a Mum to a crazy,
If I'm not in work I'm at home with my daughter... fighting
zombies, hunting for unicorns and having tea parties with fairies! The joys of being a parent means I get to play a lot.
...be kind, because you never know what sort of day someone else is having What would be your top tip for colleagues? Smile and always be kind, because you never know what sort of day someone else is having. You may just cheer them up.
A big thank you to Bethany for taking the time to answer our questions this month. If you would like to feature in our Staff in the Spotlight section, or have a colleague you’d like to put forward, please e-mail Rachael Lewis.
According to National Statistics, 1 in 4 people suffer with mental health problems, but due to the negative stigma surrounding the topic, many suffer in silence...
time to change At ACT we care deeply about our staff and learners, which is why a Steering Group has been created to raise and improve mental health awareness across the organisation. Starting with the ‘Time to Change’ initiative, the group will be developing and expanding the services we have on offer, pledging to support staff and learner well-being.
If you’re concerned about the wellbeing of a learner or colleague you can also voice your concern confidentially via the MyConcern page.
To book an appointment contact Debra Jones.
Cate Harding-Jones Helga Moore Cara Moseley
workplace well-being tips
Stay hydrated and don’t skip meals. Take lunch breaks away from your desk if you can.
SLEEP Remove electronics from your sleep environment and don’t check them in bed.
Choose a type of exercise you enjoy so you’ll keep doing it.
SHARE Discuss problems with others and ask if you need help.
RELAX Take the opportunity to have a moment of quiet.
welcome to our newest recruits! 1
Hannah Caddick Attendance and Wellbeing Officer
Felicity Tibbles Engagement Tutor
Johanne Cross-Sollis Essential Skills Tutor
Mike Ramsden Management Assessor/Skills Ambassador
Lisa Bailey GCSE English Tutor
Bella Giamei Essential Skills Tutor
Funke Koduah Essential Skills Tutor
Tilly Falcus Learning Support Assistant
Rhodri Lord Purchasing Assistant
Lianne Page Cafe Supervisor
Natalie Porter Learning Support Assistant
Cheryl Samuel Essential Skills Tutor
Tara-Jayne Piekielniak Attendance & Wellbeing Officer
Annabel Achrak Quality Auditor
FAREWELL TO… Mansour Abo-Halawa, MTS Administrator
Michelle Norman, Engagement Tutor/Attendance & Wellbeing Officer
Sophie Cole, HR Administrator (Apprentice)
Sharon Pennington, Clinical Health Assessor
Deb Davies, Clinical Health Assessor
Rebecca Poddar, ESW Tutor
Celsey George, Junior Graphic Designer
Rhian Richards, Clinical Health Assessor
Sue Griffin, Health and Social Care Assessor - Cardiff
Hannah Robinson, Management and Customer Service Assessor
Sarah Heenan, People & Development Officer Jayne Johnston, Management and Customer Service Assessor Lucy Jones, Management and Customer Service Assessor
Fran Sullivan, Advice and Guidance Assessor Sam Thole, Administration Support Co-ordinator Susan Walters, BIT/PMO Assessor
Olivia Jones, Management Higher Apprenticeship Assessor
Caroline Williams, Summer School Tutor
Steve Marshall, AAT/Financial Services Assessor
Jason Wills, BIT/PMO Assessor
insight This publication has been brought to you by the Marketing & Communications team. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this issue. If you have suggestions, stories or ideas youâ€™d like to share in future issues please do get in touch with Rachael Lewis, Communications Officer email@example.com Your ideas and input are always welcome!