Making the move to branch out as a self-employed tutor for adults was a big decision for Vince Board, having been employed as an NVQ assessor and tutor for 30 years, but the last year has been a whirlwind of activity taking him the length and breadth of Wales.

Vince offers training in Essential Skills (basic computers, digital safety), literacy and numeracy and working freelance allows him to tailor support to learners needs, at times, places and a pace that suits each person. His courses have been delivered to fit in with early morning shift workers, lunch time sessions for entry level learners and one to one support to build confidence. Within the space of 10 months he has tutored over 120 people – at least twenty of these learners have progressed onto higher level learning.

He says, “I’ve seen more of Wales this year than in my whole life. I’ve tutored a huge variety of people with different needs – road layers in Wrexham who needed to get to grips with the computer and one to one support for a worker who needed support to develop English language skills for the workplace.”

Many learners have seen significant benefit from the training provided, some have secured longer term contracts, others have gained permanent roles and promotion. A temporary worker originally from Africa was struggling with the use of English in her role and was likely to see her contract expire without the offer of permanent work. With individual support from Vince she achieved a literacy qualification and a full-time permanent role shortly after this. A taxi driver was provided with literacy and IT support at ad-hoc times and places that suited him, due to the nature of his work, sessions were often agreed and delivered at short notice and in roadside cafés.

Vince’s nomination was supported by Mike Wilson of GMB Union and Sue Da’Casto of UNITE, saying, “Nothing is too much trouble for Vince, his support for the learners doesn’t stop once they have qualified. Many have benefited from his support many months after they have completed the sessions, his delivery of Essential Skills is exceptional and feedback from many workplaces across Wales is always positive.”

“Tutoring for me is all about the change it makes to people’s lives. Seeing the simple joy in a learner’s face, when they have a ‘light-bulb’ moment, is motivation enough to get me out of bed on a cold dark morning. Hearing stories of how learning has changed their lives, ‘bagged’ them a promotion or saved them from redundancy is far more rewarding than a pretty certificate.”