College / industry collaboration leads to apprenticeship opportunities

Updated 09/03/2017

Gower College Swansea has developed an exciting collaboration with industrial electronics specialists Kontroltek, who are based in Bridgend, after both organisations saw a potential opportunity to move students seamlessly from the college environment into successful, motivating apprenticeships.

Kontroltek specialise in electronic, electrical and mechanical repairs and supply. They currently have 40 employees but have extensive ambitions to grow their workforce using the ‘next generation’ of electronic engineers.

The company approached Gower College Swansea towards the end of 2016; they had aspirations to embed an apprenticeship programme to ensure that there was an ‘in-built’ succession plan within the company.

Steve Williams, Curriculum Leader for Digital Technology at Gower College Swansea, then visited Kontroltek where he met with Financial & Operations Director Carl Waters. Together, they agreed to develop a training programme that would provide opportunities for talented apprentices to progress and flourish within the company.

Three very promising, driven members of staff have already been identified by Kontroltek. Currently they undertake essential tasks such as logistics and pre-board repair preparation. In addition to this, they also attend college one day a week to receive specialist training at the Tycoch campus. By taking on apprentices in partnership with Gower College Swansea, Kontroltek gains fresh perspective and new ideas from students whilst nurturing and developing skills which make students more employable.

“This partnership represents very exciting opportunities for our students because Kontroltek is an ambitious company, growing all the time, and they will be looking to take on more apprentices,” says Steve. “They are looking for talented and highly skilled fault finders and that’s where we come in - we train fault finders. Our 2017 graduates could have a very significant pathway into employment here and have the luxury - rare in today’s economic environment - of job opportunities if they want them.”

Carl Waters believes that the partnership approach can be extremely beneficial and adds, “As a growing company, we recognise the importance of investing in the next generation of engineers. We welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with Gower College Swansea to enable us to help achieve our growth plans.”