‘Happy accident’ – student finds new career after upskilling through UWTSD course


NHS worker Dan Blyth came from a background in Primary Teaching and into his second career in the health service unexpectedly, which he dubs “the best accident ever!”, after a colleague recommended the CIPD Associate Diploma in People Management at UWTSD for professional development.

HR Graduate - Carmarthen July 2022

Reluctant at first, when the course was suggested to Dan he “was a bit wary about going back to the academic world but I’m so glad I did, because I’ve always loved learning and wanted to develop professionally. I looked at a few options, but really liked the apprenticeship element of this course – I wasn’t in a position to give up work, so being able to study whilst working was perfect.”


“When I started, I had no idea what to expect,” he continues. “We were seven months in to the pandemic, and being a HR professional is challenging at the best of times. Working in the NHS during COVID has been the most emotional, exhausting but rewarding experience of my life, but being on the course at the same time allowed me to see the bigger picture and learn from other professionals in different industries, which has been one of my biggest university highlights.”


The best thing about the course for Dan was the level of support he received from Lecturers, and he says: “I don’t want to focus too much on the covid cliches but I think it’s testament to the dedication and determination of Julie and her team that this course even went ahead through the pandemic. Their expertise and experiences are so valuable and the academic and pastoral support is brilliant. 


“My cohort and I have also formed a really great network, which is amazing considering we mainly communicated over WhatsApp. We’ve supported each other through trying times and were able to learn together by sharing experiences.


“Obviously my university experience hasn’t always been easy: assignments, plus a full time job and trying to have a personal life (in between lockdowns) have taken some self-discipline. But whenever I’ve struggled to balance my workload, I’ve always been able to ask for help from my lecturers or my peers.


“I’d definitely recommend this course to others who are in the People Profession or who are thinking about it. The knowledge and skills I’ve gained have been amazing and the course has helped me develop as a professional. Since starting this course, I’ve had two promotions and have joined the CIPD Wales Learning and Development Steering Group. More importantly, it’s helped me grow as a person and has improved my confidence and self-esteem.


“None of this would have been possible without the CIPD course, and I’m excited to use the skills I’ve learned to support my team. I would encourage anyone to register for this course - it has genuinely changed my life.”

UWTSD Carmarthen July 2022

Senior Lecturer at UWTSD’s Institute of Management and Health, Julie Thomas, says: “We are exceptionally proud of Dan and what he has achieved, as well as his success at work and involvement with the CIPD Wales Learning and Development Steering Group. We very much look forward to welcoming him back in October to complete his postgraduate qualification.

“I would also like to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and achievement of all our students who continue to produce high quality work whilst juggling busy jobs, caring responsibilities and other commitments. I am in awe of them all."

Note to Editor

The University supports the local HR community by delivering a suite of qualifications for People Professionals, from level 3 to postgraduate level. UWTSD has been working with the CIPD for over 55 years and more recently, Coleg Sir Gar, to deliver a wide range of HR courses to suit every People Professional role. 

The greatest gift these courses give students is confidence, as well as the skills and knowledge to carry out demanding roles and enhance their careers. Courses are designed to fit around students' current work commitments, and most are fully funded, resulting in no extra cost to students or their employer. All lecturers have substantial experience of working in HR and Learning and Development roles and use this experience to facilitate debate and enhance student learning in the face-to-face and online workshops.

Further Information

Ella Staden

Swyddog y Wasg a'r Cyfryngau

Press and Media Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

E-bost | Email : ella.staden@uwtsd.ac.uk

Ffôn | Phone : 07384467078