May 2023 / Blog Learners

After finishing school, Shannon Morris, 16, from Barry, joined ACT and enrolled onto the JGW+, programme as it offered her the flexibility she needed to balance her education alongside her care responsibilities.

Shannon is currently on the Advancement Strand of the Jobs Growth Wales+ (JGW+) Programme; a training and development programme for 16–19 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.

As well as preparing for the world of work, Shannon is also retaking her English and Maths qualifications, as part of her Essential Skills, while also seeking a work placement. With many different pathways open to her, Shannon is curious and keen to try everything.

I’m very open to anything at this stage. There’s lots of things I’m capable of doing so I’m keeping my options open. I’ve been learning so much with ACT. It’s really helping me develop and learn useful skills like understanding the job interview process. I created my CV with ACT and it’s been so helpful having the support and feedback about what employers want.

As well as learning valuable skills on JGW+, ACT also offer Enrichment Days for learners. These are designed to expose young people to unique environments and situations, in order to build confidence. Enrichment Days can range from learning animal care and food skills at Jamie’s Farm in Monmouth, to exciting day trips across South Wales.

“ACT is really exciting. It’s like a family here and it’s really easy to get stuff done and my tutors are very supportive.  I’ve learnt how to communicate a lot better and I feel so much more confident going for a job interview and knowing what’s expected of me in the workplace.”

As a primary carer for her mother, Shannon finds the JGW+ programme very flexible towards her care commitments and enjoys learning valuable real-life skills in preparation for employment. Shannon also participated in the Barclay’s Life Skills programme, a course delivered in partnership with Business in the Community, which is designed to help young people learn about managing and balancing finances. Shannon feels ACT offers a unique learning experience for young people who are exploring their options.

“I’d definitely recommend ACT to other young people. I think it’s a great place to go for guidance and a good option if you don’t want to go down the traditional route of college.  I suffer with social anxiety so it’s a case of managing that so I can keep moving forwards. I have a lot of support around me which is great. I’m not sure what I want to do next but I know there’s a lot I can do and I have a lot to offer.”

To find out more about JGW+ head here