Matthew Owen changes the lives of learners who break into a cold sweat at the thought of school maths and exams. As a natural mathematician, he has the ability to teach in a way that even the most fearful of learners leave his sessions enthused and eager to learn more.
At Aspiration Training, based at St Mellons, Cardiff, Matthew is an essential skills practitioner delivering communication skills, the application of numbers and digital literacy to those whose aim it is to gain qualifications in health and social care, childcare, management and dental nursing.
Now he has been shortlisted as one of the stars of this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru. He will be competing to become Work-based Learning Tutor of the Year at the prestigious awards ceremony at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on October 20.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the coveted awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.
Thirty-star learners, employers and learning providers involved in the delivery of successful skills programmes across Wales have been shortlisted for the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.
The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
The awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the outstanding achievements of learners, employers, tutors and assessors who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships and Apprenticeship programmes.
As a passionate trainer, Matthew offers individual learning points, considering past learning experiences and physical and emotional restrictions. More importantly, he makes learning fun and never gives up on a student.
The 43-year-old former banker has also introduced bite-size videos on teaching maths which learners can access in their own time and he has incorporated his own newly acquired digital literacy skills into his sessions.
Welsh speaker Matthew said: “’I hate maths’ is a common first statement from new trainees. I’m determined to change their mindset and give them the confidence to gain qualifications but also to use these new skills in their everyday lives. To achieve this I use a mix of individual planning, sheer determination and a great deal of humour. Quite simply, I love teaching.”
Praising the standard of applicants this year and congratulating Matthew on being shortlisted for an award, Skills and Science Minister, Julie James said: “This year’s shortlisted entrants include exceptional individuals who have excelled in their workplace and learning providers and employers that have gone the extra mile to support the apprentices they are working with. Their stories never cease to amaze and inspire.
“Apprenticeships and vocational skills training are essential ingredients of economic success and vital tools in building a stronger, fairer and more equal Wales.
“These awards provide a perfect platform to celebrate success and reward the hard work and dedication of learners, employers and training providers across Wales. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the night.