Gallagher Wales team shortlisted for trio of vocational qualification awards
Significant growth within Arthur J. Gallagher's South Wales operations over the past five years has been underpinned by the success of an apprenticeship programme, which has now resulted in the team being shortlisted for three Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards.
The awards - which celebrate those who use technical, practical and vocational qualifications to achieve success - have recognised the achievements of two Gallagher individuals - Lisa Winter (pictured) and Jason Hyam - by naming them respectively as finalists in the categories of VQ Trainer of the Year and VQ Intermediate Learner of the Year.
Furthermore, Arthur J. Gallagher is one of three finalists competing for the overall VQ Employer of the Year Award, with all the winners set to be unveiled on 6 June at a ceremony in St David’s Hotel, Cardiff - the eve of VQ Day on 7 June.
The VQ awards are organised by the Welsh Government, National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), ColegauCymru / CollegesWales and Qualifications Wales. The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Over the past five years, Gallagher has seen 75 employees complete apprenticeships in South Wales and another 37 are currently working towards qualifications ranging from foundation to higher apprenticeships in Providing Financial Services and a Diploma in Insurance. The qualification attainment rate is 91% against a target of 85%.
Last year the team was named Medium Employer of the Year at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru in recognition of its commitment to apprenticeships and creating a culture which develops a high performing workforce capable of achieving excellent results. Apprenticeships are delivered by Newport-based learning provider Acorn Learning Solutions with training and continuous improvement managers also appointed internally to drive the business forward and recruit more local talent.
“Over the last 18 months, we have promoted 16 employees who have completed an apprenticeship,” said Mike Jones, regional managing director. “Our commitment to enhancing the skills, qualifications and job satisfaction of our employees has directly contributed to improved customer feedback.”
In fact, Lisa Winter made such a good impression at Arthur J. Gallagher when delivering training for her previous employer Acorn Learning Solutions that she now works full time at Gallagher as a regional continuous improvement manager, while still liaising closely with the learning provider to promote and deliver apprenticeships.
“I try to lead by example, especially with regards to professional qualifications and learners having a positive and successful learning journey,” said Lisa. In the last year, she has achieved four qualifications, including the CII Level 4 Diploma and Internal Quality Assurance Level 4 Award and completed more than 210 hours of continuing professional development.
After completing an apprenticeship in Providing Financial Services, Jason Hyam moved from being a successful account executive to a business manager role in commercial insurance. He is now studying for a Diploma in Insurance which he also promotes within his team. “My team achieved its first annual budget within 10 months and I feel this is down to creating a culture that embraces learning and development,” he said.
Best of luck to Lisa, Jason and the rest of the team on Tuesday 6 June.