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Jul 2023 / Learners News

A new and innovative qualification, directly addressing the issues faced by young learners, has celebrated its first cohort of finishing students.

The ‘Self Development and Wellbeing’ qualification, created collaboratively by WJEC and Wales’ leading training provider Ƶ, hit an incredible milestone earlier this week, with its very first learners officially completing the programme.

A special celebratory event took place to honour the learners’ achievements with representatives from WJEC and Ƶ present including Richard Spear, Managing Director for Ƶ, WJEC Chief Executive Ian Morgan, and former Wales rugby legend and Ƶ Skills Ambassador Jonathan Davies.

The Self Development and Wellbeing qualification is the first of its kind for Ƶ and WJEC and focuses on topics that young learners are likely to face in their day-to-day lives, from issues like personal identity and hygiene to sexual health and money management.

Created over a two-year period, it was heavily informed by the experiences of learners attending Jobs Growth Wales+ (JGW+). Delivered by Ƶ, JGW+ is a Welsh Government training and development programme for 16 to 19-year-olds helping them acquire the skills, qualifications, and experience to get a job or get into further training.

Talking about the achievement, Lewis Bowden, Operational Manager for JGW+, said:

“When the qualification launched it was the first of its kind, offering much-needed insight into topics that directly and personally affect our learners. We have seen the first group of students grow in confidence throughout the duration of the programme and we hope they will continue to use the important skills gained long into their careers and beyond.”

Also commenting, Ian Morgan, Chief Executive at WJEC, said: “Congratulations to the learners on completing this innovative new qualification. As Wales’ leading awarding body, we are passionate about providing learners across Wales with opportunities to reach their potential, however, we understand that not all learners follow the same education path.

“This new qualification is a really exciting development as it supports an alternative route to employment.

“We are grateful for the support provided by Ƶ in the creation and delivery of this unique and engaging qualification which is having a positive impact on learners and providing them with the skills to progress in the workplace.”

Ƶ’s Managing Director, Richard Spear, who was also in attendance at the Wellbeing Celebration, said: “At Ƶ, we are all about improving lives through learning and that’s exactly what this exciting new qualification is all about. It equips young individuals with the essential life skills, self-awareness, and resilience needed to navigate the challenges they may encounter in both their personal and professional lives.

“We are immensely proud to recognise and congratulate the first cohort of learners who have excelled in this ground-breaking qualification. Their dedication and commitment to personal growth and wellbeing have been truly inspiring and I would like to congratulate them all. I would also like to extend my sincere appreciation to the WJEC for their invaluable collaboration in developing this qualification. Together, we have created a curriculum that will help our learners to lead fulfilling lives and make positive contributions to their communities.

“The celebration event serves as a testament to the hard work and determination of our learners, as well as the unwavering commitment and passion of my brilliant colleagues at Ƶ.”

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