ACT’s JGW+ learner, Kavan Cox, took Silver in the Foundation Skills: IT Software Solutions for Business category at this year’s WorldSkills National Finals 2022.
WorldSkills supports young people across the world via competitions-based training, assessment and benchmarking, with members’ national teams ultimately testing their ability to achieve world-class standards in the biennial ‘skills olympics’. More than 500 young students and apprentices took part in finals in over 60 disciplines held at seven venues across the UK. The finals were announced on Friday 25 November 2022 at a live online ceremony hosted by Steph McGovern from her Channel 4 Packed Lunch Studio.
Kavan Cox, 19, is one of those people who just lights up the room when you talk to him. With a contagious, thunderous laugh and cheeky sense of humour, his welcoming presence immediately puts you at ease. It hasn’t always been this way for Kavan though. Sadly, his school experience left him withdrawn, anxious and doubting his capabilities.
“School was very difficult for me. I found teachers to be very authoritarian and there was a lot of bullying happening among students. A counsellor in school suggested I get in touch with ACT as they felt it would be a good fit for me. Learning and earning for me is a huge bonus, so when I realised I’d get paid for attending too, I was delighted.”
Kavan is currently studying Business Services on the Advancement Strand of the Jobs Growth Wales+ (JGW+) Programme; a training and development programme for 16–18 year olds helping them acquire the skills, qualifications, and experience to get a job or get into further training. Understanding that no one person is the same, the JGW+ programme is entirely unique and tailored to suit the needs of the individual learner.
In addition to learning valuable skills, ACT also deliver Enrichment Days for learners as part of the JGW+ programme. Enrichment Days are designed to expose young people to unique environments and situations, in order to build confidence.
“I love the Enrichment days! I’ll be honest, exercise isn’t usually my thing but I love animals and will give anything a go, so I especially loved our visit to Jamie’s Farm. I got a greater understanding of how people can work collaboratively and it was amazing to see how different peoples’ lives can be from my own. We also went to Barry recently and got involved with the beach clean-up which was great. We’ve been to Big Pit, St Fagan’s and we’ve even had a Sports Day at Ynys Hywel as well. We’re learning lots and have access to opportunities that we wouldn’t necessarily get to do at school.”
Despite being with ACT for just a year, the transformation Kavan has undergone is extraordinary. His confidence has soared leading him to challenge himself to compete in skills-based competitions. In addition to securing Silver at WorldSkills 2022, Kavan also secured Gold at the Skills Competition Wales 2021/2022 competition for his performance in the Customer Service Level Category. He credits his success to the confidence and skills he has gained since joining ACT.
My social and communication skills have developed massively since I started at ACT. It’s definitely made me much more socially aware. As part of JGW+ we learn lots about communication with customers. Everything from professional behaviour to how to direct customer attention to products. I’m learning really valuable skills for how to behave in the workplace.
Kavan is once again feeling excited about his future and the career opportunities available to him. He wasn’t sure what his prospects would be after leaving school, but now he hopes to work in a museum at some point and follow his passion for history. His year with ACT has made him realise, anything is possible!
“I was so nervous joining ACT at first, especially after my school experience, but since I’ve started the JGW+ programme I’m so much more confident. I feel like I’m back to my own self before I was bullied. I’ve become that cheery, ‘can do’ person again. ACT really is a safe space for young people to learn and grow.”
If you’re unsure of your next steps after school but like the idea of a unique learning experience tailored to your needs, then get in touch with our team today.
029 2270 7070