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Press pic Natalie Morgan 31 landNatalie Morgan’s life-changing decision to return to Wales to pursue a career in sport with Welsh Gymnastics, after working within the performing arts sector for several years, has paid rich dividends. 

Natalie, 33, from Penarth, was named Higher Apprentice of the Year when winners of the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021 were announced at a virtual ceremony on June 17.

She successfully completed a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Leadership and Management with Cardiff-based Portal Training and has now progressed to Level 5.

Portal Training is the first employer in Wales to achieve a Gold standard Investors in People Wellbeing Award.

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The Cardiff-based training provider joins a prestigious group of 20 Welsh organisations to have received the award and, as the smallest so far, is also the first ever in Wales to achieve it at a Gold standard.

Founded in 2011, Portal Training is a dynamic and innovative bilingual training provider, supporting organisations to develop the leadership and management as well as the coaching and mentoring capacity of their workforce. Through the delivery of innovative and creative training courses and resources in these areas, as well as in sport and childcare, Portal helps raise achievement and improve performance among professionals working in the education, business and sporting sectors.

07.03.20 mh Portal Awards 269After completing her A Levels in 2001, Fay progressed straight into the workforce. While she did complete a Level 3 NCQ in Sport and Allied Occupations and a Level 3 ILM in Leadership and Management, she still felt that her academic ability was limited, particularly when she began her role at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

“I struggled with feelings of imposter syndrome. To increase my confidence, I attended a Women’s Development programme in 2015… it was here that I began to consider what my future could look like and how I wanted to build on my academic ability.”

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June has come around once again and there is only one thing, we should all be celebrating. No, it isn’t the 2001 Version of Lady Marmalade hitting number 1 on the billboard charts (although that’s not a bad idea). It’s Pride Month! A month that celebrates all things LGBTQ+, raises awareness and pushes for equality and before you ask, yes, we still have to do that. 

Since coming out in 2005 I have seen many positive changes that have helped LGBTQ+ individuals become brave enough to accept who they are. From the legalisation of marriage for same sex couples to the explosion of social media; creating safe havens and communities for those who are still afraid of being accepted for who they are. Through this, I have often asked myself who I am and what I am willing to accept in terms of prejudice and support.

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 33-year-old Natalie Morgan from Penarth, has been shortlisted in the Higher Apprentice of the Year category at the national awards. She completed the Level 4 and 5 Higher Level Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management with Portal, which also earned her a nomination as Learner of the Year (Sport category) at the Portal Awards 2020.

Having worked as an actor in London for 10 years, upon returning to Penarth, Natalie decided to get some more qualifications under her belt. After securing a role with Welsh Gymnastics, she began her higher-level apprenticeships whilst working on some incredible community projects, including one of the most successful female only, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic projects in Wales.