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Teenager appointed as UK's first ever voice of work-based learners

A teenager has been appointed as the UK’s first ever full-time representative for work-based learners.

Chris Harris from Pontypridd will provide Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones (pictured) with regular updates after Wales’ largest training provider ACT Training picked him to be the voice of its learners.

The 19-year-old sits on ACT’s governance board and will work closely with its students, sub-contractors and the National Union of Students Wales.

The full-time role was created to bridge the gap between learners and managers, and make sure all students are satisfied and happy in their learning environment. It will also contribute towards a Level 3 Apprenticeship in customer service for Mr Harris.

“As this role has never existed before I am looking forward to making it my own and working directly with the members of staff and learners at ACT to improve communication and organization,” he said.

Andrew Cooksley, managing director of ACT Training, said: “We wanted to provide a communication channel for the learners so that they are able to voice their opinions comfortably as we recognised that some learners may feel uncomfortable talking to tutors.

“Chris is extremely approachable and has excellent customer service skills.”

Beth Button, NUS Wales deputy president, said the move shows Wales was leading the way in representing those in work-based learning.

“Learner representation brings huge benefits to both learners and the training provider. It’s great to see how enthusiastic Chris is and we’re looking forward to working with him closely over the coming year.”

Earlier this month the NUS launched the first ever National Society for Apprentices to champion the rights of work-based learners and represent their views on a national level.

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