A KINMEL BAY Apprentice with visual impairments has been hailed for refusing to let his disability impact his career success.

In the week of the first anniversary of the launch of the Welsh Government’s Disability Action Plan for Apprenticeships, partially sighted Waste Management apprentice Andrew Bennett, 51, is encouraging others with disabilities to consider apprenticeships.

Mr Bennett, who is blind in his left eye and also has dyslexia, found a new start at Bryson Recycling in Abergele after serving his community service on the site and is now studying towards his Level 4 qualification.

He said: “When I first started, I was worried that my eyesight would be a barrier working in a complex environment, but it hasn’t been an issue.

“I’m also dyslexic, which makes it hard to process long-form written documents with heavy information.”

Mr Bennett has received the support required when reading through administrative documents and is given extra time to complete the written elements of his apprenticeship studies.

Mr Bennett added: “For others who are considering the different routes into work, my advice would be to consider apprenticeships.

“My employer has been supportive with my disabilities and the role is rewarding as you can learn all the skills you need while earning a wage and getting relevant, interesting experience.

“As part of my progression through my apprenticeship, I’m taking on supervisor responsibilities whenever my supervisor is off duty, and I’m hoping to progress to a full-time supervisor in the future.”

Dan McCabe, Site Supervisor at Bryson Recycling, said; “Andrew’s disabilities have not been a problem in the workplace. He’s overcome any barriers to learning that may have been in his way to become a curtail and trustworthy, member of the team.

“It was an easy decision to keep him on after his community service, as it’s been really refreshing to have such a keen apprentice rise through the ranks and progress so quickly, taking a genuine interest in his work.”

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund. Almost all job sectors have apprenticeship programmes and the majority of apprenticeships can be made accessible for people with additional needs.

Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, said: “Andrew is an excellent example of someone who has really benefitted from an apprenticeship to gain the skills needed to get ahead in life. I’d urge anyone who is thinking about their next steps to consider an apprenticeship as a serious option.”

For more information about becoming an apprentice search Working Wales Apprenticeships or call 0800 028 4844. For employers, search Skills Gateway for Business for more information on the Apprenticeship Programme.