Thibaud develops his career and finds a new family in Wales

THIBAUD Gailliard’s journey since arriving in Wales from France as a shy 16-year-old, following the loss of his mother to cancer, has been described as “incredible”.

He could speak little English and had no formal qualifications or previous work experience to help his employment prospects – but now he is a finalist in the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021.

Mr Gailliard discovered a Traineeship Engagement Programme in Creative Media delivered by Risca-based training provider Sgiliau Cyf and quickly set about learning English, obtaining a long list of qualifications and improving his IT, design and music skills.

Following the traineeship, Mr Gailliard progressed to a Level 1 ICT Users Award with Sgiliau who were so impressed that they employed him, enrolling him on a Foundation Apprenticeship in IT, which he has now completed.

In recognition of his learning journey, Mr Gailliard has been shortlisted for Traineeship Learner of the Year (Level 1).

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Mr Gailliard, 21, lives in Ebbw Vale and now speaks and writes English fluently. As lead administrator, he is in charge of Sgiliau’s management information database that generates important funding information as well as volunteering to support the company’s Traineeship IT learners.

Charlotte Evans, a director of Sgiliau, said: “The transformation in Thibaud, from a 16-year-old who had low levels of English language skills and lacked confidence, is incredible. Considering the challenges he has faced and what he has had to overcome, he is amazing.

“His development and progression were made possible by the Traineeship Programme and he’s now a vital member of the Sgiliau team, holding a very responsible position.

“Thibaud is a great role model for other Traineeship learners and will continue to develop and grow with Sgiliau where he has a very bright future. We are very proud of his achievements.”

Mr Gailliard, who moved to Wales to live with his brother, describes Sgiliau as his new family. Referring to his learning journey, he said: “If I can do it anyone can. I now feel like I belong somewhere and Sgiliau have given me an amazing career opportunity. If I didn’t have them, I don’t know where I would be, and I can’t thank them enough for their help and support.”

The annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships will see 35 finalists compete in 12 categories for awards. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on April 29.

Highlight of the work-based learning calendar, the awards showcase businesses and individuals who have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes and gone the extra mile to achieve success during these unprecedented times.

The awards are jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales. Openreach, the UK’s digital network business and passionate supporter of apprenticeships, has renewed its headline sponsorship of the awards.

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

South Wales Argus | Business