Dylan Owen, who works in the Children and Supporting Families Department, has recently qualified as a Social Worker with a first-class honours degree from the Open University. Dylan has worked his way up through the Council, which proves that the traditional academic route does not have to be followed for you to reach your goal. Dylan completed his degree on a part-time basis whilst continuing to work for the Council's children's services.

A period of volunteering motivated Dylan to change his career. After leaving school, he worked for a newspaper, but he was not having the job satisfaction he sought, and so he began to volunteer with young people before getting a job as a key worker with the Youth Justice Service.

“I had never thought of going into the social work field until I started to volunteer with young people.  This enabled me to build my experience and I started to work for the Council before moving on and working my way up through different jobs within the Children and Supporting Families Department, whilst gaining qualifications at the same time.

"I think that it's important that staff understand that training and support is available within the Council in order to help you develop and reach your goal. I am not a clever or academic person at all; I am more practical and I learn as I do. I failed my A Levels in school and I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to go to university.

Cyngor Gwynedd has given me the opportunity to build skills and gain experience as I work and I feel very lucky about that. I had the opportunity to do a Level 3 NVQ in Health and Care and an introductory course to Health and Social Care, which is equivalent to Level 4 and university credits. Without these opportunities, I would not have been able to go on to complete a Social Work degree.

I really enjoyed the Social Work course. I feel that it has enriched my practical work although it is quite a lot of work. You had to be self-disciplined to put your head down and do the work but it was worth it in the end. I’m very grateful to the Council for the support and I want to encourage others to go for it", said Dylan.

After all the years in the care field, Dylan is still enjoying working with young people.

"Every day at work is different and varies from one thing to the next. Work is never boring and it certainly keeps you on your toes. What I enjoy most about my job is the opportunity to meet different people and help them. I enjoy the challenge of being able to enter a situation and advise and support young people to move on and improve their lives", added Dylan.

Let's find out more about Dylan's story by watching a short video: