ESP Participant Wins Big at Adult Learning Awards

Congratulations go out to Daniel Jones, for winning the ‘Into Work’ award at the ‘Inspire! Adult Learning Awards 2021’ organised by the Learning and Work Institute.

Daniel was first introduced to Itec at the Llantrisant Job Centre, where he met up with one of our Adult Engagement Officers, who directed him towards our Employability Skills Programme. Dan was faced with uncertainty about his job prospects, a lack of confidence in himself, as well as difficulties communicating with new people after leaving college. Although Daniel lacked confidence, he was determined to improve and develop himself in order to achieve his career aspiration of working in ICT.

“Going through the course and meeting new people every day really helped to build my confidence and prepare me for life after college with training on things like CV writing and interview prep. I use loads of these skills to this day.”

After 6 months of being enrolled on the programme, it was discussed and agreed that it would be beneficial for Daniel’s development to progress towards a work placement.

Knowing how ambitious, determined and hard-working Daniel is, our work placement officer decided to approach Itec’s senior management team to see if there was a possibility of Daniel gaining a placement internally with our IT department. Daniel was interview by our director who was equally as impressed with Daniel as his tutors were and offered him a 6 month placement.

When Daniel initially started his placement, he was described as having little to no knowledge of ICT infrastructure and processes used within a commercial environment. Due to Daniel’s inquisitive nature and willingness to learn, he quickly increased his knowledge and confidence at a fast rate.

Daniel said: “It was strange and slightly daunting at first getting used to a 9-5 working environment. Thankfully, I had two colleagues on the support desk who showed me the ropes and were extremely supportive. I loved the challenge. There were lots of different things I had to do, it empowered me to know how to diagnose issues and resolve them as quickly as possible.”

After completing his work placement with flying colours, Daniel was successful in getting a Jobs Growth Wales placement with ComGem, a software solutions company based in Bridgend. After only two weeks on placement, ComGem was so impressed with Daniel that they offered him a permanent and full-time position with the company.

Daniel admitted “It felt amazing to have finally reached my goal of a full-time position in IT. All the hard work has paid off. I couldn’t have done it without the experience, confidence and people skills I’ve gained whilst being with Itec. If I could give my younger self a piece of advice, I’d say you don’t always need to rush into full-time work. That’s what I tried to do and it demotivated me because I wasn’t ready. Gaining the experience and skills before going into employment really set me up for success and I can’t recommend it enough to other young people in a situation like mine.”