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Pioneering digital internal quality assurer Angelina Mitchell believes her role is to open the door for learners to gain the skills to confidently use technology.

Angelina, 28, who works for training provider Ƶ in Cardiff, pioneered the delivery of the Digital Learning Design Apprenticeship Framework in Wales.

Lucy Wilkinson, Ƶ’s digital services route manager, explained: “Angelina navigated the delivery of this qualification independently as, at the time, she was the only assessor for this qualification in Wales. Her drive and commitment to her continuous professional development within the digital industries is exceptional.”

Last night, Angelina was named Work-based Learning Practitioner of the Year at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022. The awards highlight the outstanding achievements, during unprecedented times, of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.

A former secondary school teacher of modern foreign languages, Angelina joined Ƶ as a trainee assessor in 2018 as she was looking for a new career challenge and wanted to help others become tech savvy.

To ensure that she fully understands her learners’ journey, she has herself completed the apprenticeships that she delivers as well as learning Welsh so that she can deliver bilingually too.

Angelina, who lives in Cardiff and is originally from The Netherlands, has been so successful at learning the language that she won the Work Welsh Learner of the Year Award (intermediate) from the National Centre for Learning Welsh. She is fluent in five languages.

Learners and employers love her and she is her team’s top performer – 90% of her learners complete their qualification and she achieves an 88% employer engagement rating.

She also supports and oversees digital services route learners at Ƶ and is constantly upskilling herself to keep pace with technology and qualifications.

Prior to the pandemic, she had already adapted to remote learning and introduced 20-minute themed discussions on a topic to enable her learners to achieve the knowledge part of their apprenticeship. This assessment method has been adopted as best practice by her peers.

Her personal qualifications include a Bachelor of Education degree specialising in French teaching, a Minor in Multi Media Design, Apprenticeships in Social Media for Business, Training Assessing and Internal Quality Assurance.

“Angelina leads by example,” added Lucy. “Her educational development has taken place internationally, which has enabled her to observe best practice from some of the leading educational countries in the world. Angelina goes over and above to share her knowledge and skills with colleagues and learners alike.”

On being shortlisted, Angelina said: “I’m really happy that I have been shortlisted for Work-based Learning Practitioner of the Year, as it means a lot to me. It shows that others feel that I am making a difference in organisations and schools in Wales.

I work really hard and hope that the things I’ve learned at university and in work are of use to other tutors, teachers and curriculum developers.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated Angelina and all the finalists. “Apprenticeships make a huge contribution to our economy and will be crucial as Wales continues to bounce back from the pandemic. They can help futureproof, motivate and diversify a workforce, offering people the chance to gain high-quality vocational skills.”