Cardiff careers adviser nominated for prestigious national award

A careers adviser from Cardiff has been nominated for a national Careers Development Institute (CDI) award.

Alexandra Morris, a careers adviser at Working Wales, has been shortlisted for the public sector careers adviser of the year for her work supporting asylum seekers, refugees and other forced migrants.

For the past four years, Alexandra’s passion and dedication has helped hundreds of people to take steps towards employment across Wales.

In 2019 Alexandra used initiative to identify a new funding opportunity for asylum seekers and refugees based in Cardiff through collaboration with local charity, Oasis.

The funding provided support to help customers convert their overseas qualifications into the UK equivalent.

Through the initiative, careers advisers at Working Wales were able to help asylum seekers and refugees overcome significant barriers into education, employment or training.

Alexandra said: “The majority of the service users at Oasis that I spoke with hadn’t heard of the qualification conversion support.

“They would have struggled to access it without our help due to the cost of the service, the ICT requirements, and the language barriers.

“Providing customers with this support gives them mobility and a foundation to plan their next steps.”

As a result of the pilot’s success in Cardiff, Alexandra went on to facilitate the rollout of the new service to her colleagues across Wales.

From providing support in team meetings, developing training videos and attending sessions up and down the country, Alexandra went above and beyond to ensure the success of the project expansion.

Across Wales, the service has now helped to support over 500 asylum seekers and refugees with an application to convert their qualifications.

Speaking of her nomination, Alexandra said: “I feel delighted and humbled to have been shortlisted for this year’s CDI awards.

“Having been nominated alongside my peers providing fantastic careers support across the UK is an absolute honour.

“I am hugely passionate about supporting people, especially those who are seeking refuge in our country, to take a step closer towards re-entering the labour market and their career goals and to have hope for their futures once again.

“Developing this rollout across Wales has been a major team effort, and I’d like to thank my colleagues for their support.”

Chief Executive of Careers Wales Nikki Lawrence said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see Alexandra nominated for public sector careers adviser of the year.

“Alexandra has used her passion for helping people along with initiative and dedication to develop careers support for refugees across the country.

“Alexandra’s work has provided opportunities for some of the most vulnerable people in our society and on behalf of myself and Careers Wales, I’m wishing her the very best of luck for the award final.”

Alexandra’s nomination comes three years after her colleague, Christine Baker, was awarded careers adviser of the year in 2020 for her work in helping rehabilitate offenders in HMP Usk and HMP Prescoed in Monmouthshire.

More information on the CDI awards and nominees can be found on their website.

Working Wales, delivered by Careers Wales, provides a free and impartial careers coaching and guidance service. For information and support visit Working Wales.