Declan fast tracks and wins Torfaen Training Traineeship of The Year Award 2018

Throughout mainstream education Declan’s lack of confidence combined with low self-esteem made it difficult for him to stay focused within the classroom. Attendance became a problem and things started to look bleak as the final academic year came around. Remarkably in a very short space of time, through hard work and sheer determination he has managed to turn his career around, recently winning the Torfaen Training Traineeship of The Year Award 2018 and securing an Early Years Apprenticeship - and this is how he achieved it.

During his final year at school Declan enrolled on an Inspire2Achieve (I2A) programme and whilst in this environment found that he enjoyed working with young people. This resulted in a one day extended work experience placement at Overmonnow Primary School. Declan had now discovered something that he enjoyed and in a learning environment that suited him, attendance dramatically improved and it wasn’t long before he successfully passed his Level 2 BTEC including the year 11 studies. It was here that the staff and teachers could see a consistent improvement in his confidence and ability to work with the pupils, Declan’s tutor, Amanda Edwards said:

“His dedication to the course has been outstanding, with continued commitment, and a positive attitude and approach. His reviews from teachers, staff members, the head teacher and others have been excellent.”

At the school Declan has learnt numerous skill sets from basic sign language to working within a team which shows how quickly his self-confidence has improved. The children are naturally drawn to his gentle and calm classroom manner which makes him ideally suited for teaching the kindergarten age groups. Declan now firmly believes that working with younger children in a school setting is what he would like to do as a career and said:

“I really enjoy working with the children and find it a much more enjoyable learning experience to be in a work based environment rather than a formal college classroom setting. My team of school teachers at Overmonnow are very encouraging and supportive, this has helped boost my confidence levels and greatly improved the skills I need to do the work.
After completing my Apprenticeship I would like to enrol on a Teaching Assistant course to allow my career to progress within a Primary School setting.”

Having now found his career ‘niche’ Declan is completely focused on developing the skills required to work within a Primary School. He has recently secured a Level 2 Apprenticeship in ‘Children Care Learning and Development’ which begins during September at the Nursery in Overmonnow. Declan is now looking forward to meeting his Torfaen Training Assessor, Holly Evans, who will help him through the next stage of his learning journey.


Torfaen Training Traineeship of The Year 2018, Declan Jones, in work at Overmonnow Primary School.


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