A Barry woman working in Caerphilly has won a top award.

Anne Reardon-James scooped up the Work-based Learning Practitioner of the Year award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2024.

The 46-year-old is a learning advisor with Panda Education and Training, tasked with delivering apprenticeships in learning and development in collaboration with ALS Training, with a trademark enthusiasm for knowledge that resonates with her learners and co-workers in the post-16 learning sector.

Ms Reardon-James said: "This award is absolutely fantastic and a bit overwhelming.

"It’s recognition of the work that we do with our learners in providing quality apprenticeships.

"I think my learners will be excited for me.

"I got into work-based learning later in life and it’s fantastic to be able to help mentor and support people to get through their barriers.

"I really love my job and am always trying different ways of delivery."

Ms Reardon-James, who is currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Education, has several qualifications including an MA in Education, a PGCE, and a degree in Behavioural Sciences.

She is a Fellow of SET, an Associate Fellow of the CIPD and HE Advance.

Her experience spans 17 years in post-16 education.

She has taught adult literacy and numeracy in the community, delivered essential skills to employed learners, developed learning programmes for the probation and prison services, and more.

In her role, she runs digitally enhanced online training workshops, organises monthly mentor meetings and renders in-person support to learners across Wales.

Complementing her professional work, Anne also contributes as an editor of the Research and Practices in Adult Literacies journal, publishes blogs, speaks at conferences and shares resources with online network groups.

She extends her commitment to learning outside work by teaching English to and supporting Ukrainian refugees from her house, and by assisting housebound clients in her area.

The awards ceremony was organised by the Welsh Government and backed by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTFW). This year, it was sponsored by industry skills partner and awarding organisation, EAL.

Al Parkes, managing director at EAL, said: "I would like to congratulate not just Anne and the other award winners, but all the employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners who were nominated.

"Showcasing their achievements is important as it inspires more people to consider apprenticeships and encourages more employers to take on apprentices."

Simon Pirotte OBE, Chief executive of the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research, said: "I want to congratulate all the finalists and winners.

"Stories like theirs drive home the high impact that apprenticeships can have, helping people to find fulfilling employment and contributing to Wales’ skills system.

"They will be a crucial part of the newly founded Commission for Tertiary Education and Research."