Gower College Swansea is top of class at UK-wide AAC Apprenticeship Awards

Updated 08/04/2022

Gower College Swansea has been recognised for its outstanding apprenticeship provision at the prestigious UK AAC Apprenticeship Awards 2022.  

Winning both the Care Services Apprenticeship Provider of the Year Award and the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Apprenticeship Champion Award, the College has been recognised for its excellence, scooping two of the 24 awards that were available at the ceremony, chosen from 370 entries.  

Gower College Swansea had the most wins of any provider in the UK and was the only Welsh provider to receive an award on the evening.  

These are the seventh national apprenticeship award-wins for the College over the past three years, following the College’s triumph at the TES FE Awards 2021, where they were named as having the UK Apprenticeship Programme of the Year. 

Gower College Swansea has invested heavily in its service for additional learning needs (ALN) apprentices, with the number of learners rising from 1.6% in 2015 to 7.3% today. The ALN department has also expanded to now include dedicated Neurodiversity and Cognitive ALN specialists, among many other services that sets it apart from other apprenticeship providers. 

Commenting on the College’s ALN provision is Head of Work Based Learning, Rachel Searle:  

“Our team demonstrates an exceptional commitment to apprentices with additional learning needs. We provide tailored diagnostic assessment and support to optimise the success of individuals with disabilities and we adjust our teaching techniques to suit their individual needs. Our additional support makes it a more inclusive and relaxed learning experience, from our 1-1 support, to the specialist equipment we offer such as C pens, laptops with specialist software, Dictaphones and overlays.  

“As one of Wales’ largest providers of apprenticeships, inclusivity is critical to our operation, and we are proud to have been recognised for this. We hope to inspire even more individuals with additional learning needs to become apprentices, and we are there to support them every step of the way.”  

The Health and Social Care provision at the College has also experienced huge success since establishing over 20 years ago. With teaching staff that have a wealth of first-hand sector experience, apprentices can relax in the knowledge that apprenticeships are delivered by a team that understands the complex and challenging nature of the health and social care sector.  

Commenting on the Care Services Apprenticeship Provider of the Year award win is Director of Skills and Business Development, Paul Kift:  

“I am hugely proud that our Health and Social Care team has been recognised for their dedication to our fantastic apprentices and employers. Our provision has always enjoyed an excellent reputation locally, but I am delighted that they now have that recognition on the UK stage.  

“The health and social care sector has been under a huge amount of pressure over the past few years. When Covid first hit the UK, our team worked tirelessly to support the NHS to deliver clinical induction training and manual handling training to NHS workers. While others in the team volunteered to work at hospitals, supporting the vaccination programme for our local communities.  

“Our hands-on approach to teaching, and our proactive collaborations with organisations of all sizes, helped 100% of our Health and Social Care apprentices remain in employment after completing their training with us – which really wasn’t easy for our staff, learners or employers in the midst of the pandemic.” 

Principal of Gower College, Mark Jones, said: “We are immensely proud to have received both awards and to once again be recognised as one of the top UK apprenticeship providers. It is testimony to the high quality of our work in this area, as well as our focus on meeting national priorities.   

Our close relationships with businesses across Wales and England means that we can offer recruitment and training solutions to businesses of all sizes; from small private companies and large multi-national organisations, to the public sector. 

“With the recent refurbishment of Sketty Hall Business School, we are also looking forward to expanding our offer even further and welcoming even more learners through our doors.” 

Gower College Swansea is one of the largest providers of apprenticeships in Wales offering a diverse range of training programmes across Wales and England.  

If you would like to explore apprenticeship opportunities, please contact training@gcs.ac.uk or call 01792 284 400. For the full apprenticeship offer at the College, visit www.gcs.ac.uk/apprenticeships.