At ACT, ensuring that the voices of our learners are heard is not only key to their development but to ours as an education provider.
One way we stay in the loop with how learners are progressing, how they are finding life at ACT and what we can do to improve is through our Learner Representative, Lily Pandeles.
Lily’s role is to advocate for learners across all of ACT’s programmes, as well as in schools and with employers.
The learner representative role was created to provide all learners across the ACT with a voice. As they are at the heart of what ACT does, it was important to make sure that there was a direct link between key decision makers in the organisation and learners, so that learners were able to say what is working, and on the flipside what could be done better.
The role also has strong links with National Union of Students (NUS), and the National Society of Apprentices (NSOA), enabling ACT learners to lend their voices on a local and national scale, contributing towards the improvements in the experiences of learners.
These links also enable ACT learners to contribute to local and national research. For example, at the moment, work is ongoing in relation to apprenticeship wages, and the wellbeing and mental health needs of apprentices.
Lily works across two teams – Marketing & Communications and Quality.
Within the marketing team, Lily promotes ACT’s Jobs Growth Wales+ and Apprenticeship programmes to schools. Within the quality team, she is the link between delivery teams, learners and other stakeholders. Her role is key to helping ACT improve the experiences, support and provisions it offers.
Talking about how she has found splitting her work between two teams, Lily said: “It can be a challenge as no two weeks are the same but I find this motivating and exciting.
“Each day is different. I could be at a careers fair one day, completing some learners’ forums in one of our centres the next, or in head office having a meeting.
“I enjoy the diversity of the role and being able to work directly with learners.”
Talking about the biggest challenge of the role, Lily highlighted the importance of why her role within ACT was established in the first place. She said:
“Learner voices are important and I am here to help facilitate positive change – it’s getting our JGW+ learners to understand how important they are to this that’s the challenge.”
Becky Morris, Head of Continuous Improvement at ACT, said: “As our Learner Representative, Lily works across all areas of ACT, and with our partner providers, helping us to shape how and what we do. Lily works to help us understand how effectively our processes work, helping us to decide on what we need to change.”
Looking ahead to what she hopes she will achieve in the role, Lily shared her wish for the role to be a more prominent focus in all ACT centres and act as a bridge to strengthen the relationships between learners and staff.