Franchesca Emery from South Gloucestershire, has won the South West Learning for Work award as part of Festival of Learning led by Learning & Work Institute for her outstanding achievement in adult learning. The Festival of Learning Awards showcase and celebrate the wonderful things that learning can achieve for individuals, families, communities and employers.

Franchesca made the courageous decision to leave sixth form after completing her AS Levels to start a traineeship with DCET Training, who are part of The Focus Training Group and work towards becoming an electrician – a move that surprised her parents who always thought she would go to University. During her placement Franchesca strived for greatness and impressed her employers Jeff Way Electrical so much that she was offered a position on their four-year electrical trailblazing apprenticeship, which was the first programme of its type in the UK. Her achievements and progression on the programme dispelled her parents’ fears about her career aspirations and helped to break down gender barriers as she became the first female apprentice the company has employed.

Festival of Learning is celebrating its 25th year of lifelong learning and the benefits it has on people, society and the economy. Inspirational individuals, tutors, projects and employers across the UK are being awarded as part of the Festival - showcasing the impact learning has on their lives and the lives of othersImage removed.

Franchesca says that she can’t believe how much has changed since completing her traineeship, “My parents noticed the change in me and it made things at home a lot better. I thought ‘why haven’t I done this sooner?’. I want to work hard and prove that you can do whatever you want when you put your mind to it and decide that you want change.”

Michelle Moylan, Centre Manager in Bristol said “I interviewed Francesca for our Traineeship programme this time last year. Francesca was quiet and reserved but I was won over by her determination. After discussion we agreed the Traineeship was the ideal model for her to trial a career as an Electrician, before she made that big commitment to leave academic study.” “It paid off and in fact our Traineeship was nationally one of the best schemes for sector specific Traineeships. So much so, we were invited to speak at the ‘Into Work’ national convention in April. DCET Training in Bristol are delighted to deliver what is the first of hopefully many awards for the Bristol area. .  

Stephen Evans, CEO of Learning & Work Institute, which leads the Festival of Learning Awards said “Francesca encompasses what the Festival of Learning is all about -  people achieving their learning and career ambitions through their determination and hard work. We hope Francesca’s story inspires others to follow their dreams too – especially in giving confidence to other young women who aspire to work in roles that have been traditionally dominated by men”. 



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