Learner of the Year Award

Learner of the Year Award 2016

At the 2016 Learning Conference, Lauren McDonald and Jamie Hepburn MSPScottish Union Learning presented the 6th Annual Learner of the Year Award to Lauren McDonald, a CWU member who works at BT Dial House in Glasgow.

Lauren was chosen as the 2016 Learner of the Year because of her strong commitment to learning. This has been demonstrated through her achievements during a CISCO CCNA course, which is an advanced IT course, and her subsequent entry on to a Modern Apprenticeship at SVQ Level 3. The CWU has organised three CISCO CCNA courses in BT in Glasgow over the last few years through the Learning Fund from Scottish Union Learning. Entry to the course was highly competitive, but Lauren managed to secure a place.

Lauren was working in the Business Billing Department, and after starting the CISCO CCNA course, she successfully applied for a three-year Level 3 Apprenticeship within BT Wholesale. Her application was strengthened by the CISCO course, making her the strongest candidate for the role. Lauren admits that she did find the introduction to technology daunting.

Lauren has scheduled six hours per week for study in her own time, over and above her weekly three hours of tutor-led study. She has also embarked on additional training for her apprenticeship, consisting of six blocks that include various features, protocols and standards within the telecommunications world.

Lauren is determined to gain full CISCO accreditation, finish the six training blocks organised through BT, and complete her three-year Modern Apprenticeship. She also plans to progress to the advanced CISCO CCNP course, an internationally recognised qualification which would validate her ability to plan, implement, verify and troubleshoot local and wide area networks.