blank
Connect with us

Education

Businesses say ‘We’ll come out with a much stronger workforce!’ after fully funded training opportunities

Published

on

Bluestone, Swansea Bay University Health Board and Tredz, are among the hundreds of Welsh organisations currently reaping the benefits of fully funded training.

From business administration and marketing, to sector-specific accredited courses across housing, manufacturing, and green technology; Gower College Swansea has nearly 100 fully funded courses available for businesses to utilise.

Advertisement

One popular area of focus is the Digital Skills for Business programme, which equips people of all digital competencies with the skills to thrive in the ever-changing, digital world.

With many businesses now working remotely, there is a stronger need than ever for employees to demonstrate basic levels of digital know-how across a range of industries. Around 82% of all job roles require digital skills amongst their staff in some capacity, and Gower College Swansea is working towards closing the digital skills gap in Wales.

A business about to reap the benefits of the programme, is Welsh tourism giant, Bluestone, who’s staff are currently enrolled in several courses provided by Gower College Swansea.

Helen John, Bluestone Academy Manager

Helen John, Bluestone Academy Manager, said: “Historically, the hospitality industry isn’t portrayed as a career of choice and has the perception that it is low-skilled and low-paid.

“By giving accreditation through these training courses and by building the kudos, you’re going to change the mindset and perception of the industry.

“In Wales, and Pembrokeshire in particular, tourism and hospitality is one of our biggest employers. I think we need to start showcasing it as a great career to go into, and at Bluestone we value the people taking on these roles. The skills you need for this industry are a lot more than people give them credit for.”

Advertisement

Swansea Bay University Health Board (SBUHB) have also focused on getting their team up to scratch, with Anne Davies benefiting hugely from the extra digital support through enrolling on the IT User course.

Anne Davies, Ward Administrator for the Acute Medicine Units (AMAU), said: “Part of my role is keeping on top of everyone’s training, which is a massive Excel spreadsheet. I’ve learnt tips on how better to organise it and how to get the most out of Word and Outlook.”

She explains how the course has helped her to build on her existing IT skills: “I love learning new things and I had a basic knowledge of the units covered so wanted to learn more and hopefully make my job easier.”

Another SBUHB member of staff who has further developed their IT skills through the course is Jenna Pickin, a Clinical Coder, she said: “Just go for it! There’s so much support and if you need something explaining further or in a different way, the tutors are really helpful. Knowing that you’ve got somebody there that’s either just a phone, email, or a click away was very beneficial.”

Fully funded, accredited courses span a huge breadth of skillsets and topics. Bike retailer, Tredz is taking advantage of available funding with almost 60 of their staff undertaking a range of Cytech bike courses through Gower College Swansea.

Advertisement

Ceri Forward, People Business Partner for Tredz, said: “We rely on lots of people who are keen cyclists who kind of fall into the skill, but they pick up bad habits, and they’re not really taught. So what that Cytech training does is correct that, and it’s done in an accredited, consistent way… and we’ll come out with a much stronger workforce so it’s been really beneficial to Tredz.”

Courses are funded by the Skills for Industry project and the Personal Learning Account programme. The Skills for Industry project is aimed at private, public and voluntary sector organisations to invest in their workforce and is fully-funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government. A Personal Learning Account (PLA) is a programme funded by the Welsh Government, which allows those who meet the criteria to study part-time around their existing responsibilities and obtain skills and qualifications to change or progress their career.

If you would like to explore the courses offered through Gower College Swansea, contact the team directly on: training@gcs.ac.uk or call 01792 284 400. The deadline for course applications is 31st July 2022.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Education

Pontarddulais school’s physical education department supported by Amazon

Published

on

By

A comprehensive school in Pontarddulais has received a £1,000 donation from the Amazon fulfilment centre in Swansea.

Pontarddulais Comprehensive School plans to use the donation to purchase new safety mats for use in PE lessons.

Advertisement

They say this will allow their pupils to enjoy activities such as gymnastics and inspire more pupils to follow in the footsteps of their peers who have recently succeeded at a national level.

Christopher Law, General Manager at Amazon in Swansea, said: “At Amazon, we recognise the value of extra-curricular development, and we are pleased to lend a helping hand to Pontarddulais Comprehensive School with this donation. We wish the school well as it seeks to inspire and engage the leaders of tomorrow through both academic and physical education.”

Nigel Hughes, who is an engineer at Amazon in Swansea and put the school forward for the donation, added: “My children receive a fantastic education and genuine support at Pontarddulais Comprehensive School, and it’s great that Amazon is providing this donation to help fund new equipment.”

Julie Evans, Area Coordinator for Health and Wellbeing at Pontarddulais Comprehensive School, said: “We want to thank Christopher and the Amazon team in Swansea. This kind and generous donation will support us in continuing to create the high-quality facilities required for a first-class educational experience. It will be a great addition allowing us to strengthen and expand our school’s physical activity opportunities.”

The donation to Pontarddulais Comprehensive School was made as part of Amazon’s programme to support the communities in and around its operating locations across the UK.

Advertisement

(Lead image: Pontarddulais Comprehensive School)

Continue Reading

Education

Council to review Swansea Valley ‘Super School’ decision made by previous administration

Published

on

By

A reprieve could be on the cards for Alltwen, Godre’rgraig and Llangiwg Primary schools as Neath Port Talbot’s new coalition administration say they want to review the decision made to create a new ‘super school’ in Pontardawe.

The new administration says it wants to establish if an alternative way to bring 21st Century School standards to the Swansea Valley can be achieved, which would be more acceptable to the community.

Advertisement

The decision to establish a new £22.7m English-medium 3-11 school and specialist Learning Support Centre for pupils with a statement of Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Pontardawe to replace Alltwen, Godre’rgraig and Llangiwg Primary schools was taken by Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet on October 20th, 2021.

The controversial decision triggered a process of communicating with local schools around the next steps and general planning for the construction of the new school and swimming pool.

A successful tender exercise took place to secure a contractor to begin stage one of a two stage process.

Neath Port Talbot Council say that under its own procurement rules, it says it has been necessary to approve the appointment of the contractor to undertake Stage 1 contract works only, with no obligation on the council to proceed to the second stage. Stage 1 includes developing the design information; carrying out assessments of traffic and site conditions; ground investigations; and obtaining planning approval.

The council say that this first stage contract does not commit them to the construction of the school and pool, with a further contract being entered into at Stage 2, which is the actual construction phase. 

Advertisement

It adds that allowing stage 1 works to progress will ensure that the opportunities to meet the timescales of the October 2021 decision could still be realised if a review does not highlight any changes are needed to the project.

This will avoid further anxiety for the school staff and families due to unnecessary delays, particularly important for those pupils in Godre’rgraig Primary School who are currently educated in temporary accommodation awaiting the new school.

Neath Port Talbot Council say they will now start discussions with Welsh Government Ministers to establish what information they might require from the council. This will inform the consultation process which the council will undertake with stakeholders.

Continue Reading

Museums

Dream role for Egypt Centre’s new head

Published

on

By

A childhood visit to a museum not only triggered Ken Griffin’s lifelong passion for Egyptology, it has also led to him landing his perfect job.

He has just been appointed curator of the Swansea University’s award-winning Egypt Centre and is now in charge of its unique collection of antiquities.

Advertisement

Belfast-born Dr Griffin says he was captivated by Egyptology after a trip to Ulster Museum when he was six.

“They have a mummy on display called Takabuti, and I used to get my dad to take me there every Sunday. I wanted to know more about the country, and I finally went there on my 16th birthday. That really cemented the idea of doing Egyptology, I was totally obsessed,” he said.

Dr Griffin started volunteering at the museum while he was a first year Egyptology student back in October 2000. After finishing his degree, he went on to become a Saturday workshop assistant while studying for his MA and PhD in Egyptology.

After a spell as a lecturer, he hit the headlines when he discovered a depiction associated with the pharaoh Hatshepsut – one of just five women to have ruled ancient Egypt – on object he had taken out of the storeroom for a handling session.

He said: “This job is fantastic and often there are discoveries every day. We have about 6,000 objects in total, but we only have room for about a third of our collection to be on display. I have seen every object but often you see something you haven’t spotted before; particularly as new technology becomes available.”

Advertisement
Dr Ken Griffin in the Ulster Museum alongside the mummy Takabuti, the exhibit that triggered his interest in Egyptology. (Image: Swansea University)

Back in 2020, three of the museum’s mummified animals were examined using X-ray micro CT scanning, which generates high-resolution 3D images. The process provided unprecedented detail about the animals’ lives – and deaths – more than 2,000 years ago.

During his time at the museum Dr Griffin has been actively involved in teaching Egyptology through the University’s adult education programme and he is passionate about ensuring the museum’s collection is as accessible as possible.

Next month he will oversee the installation of a new display case which will also create a temporary exhibition space to be used by Swansea University students.

Already a favourite destination for schools, the museum hosts regular workshops and events but when the pandemic forced it to close its doors, Dr Griffin set up virtual courses via zoom.

“We weren’t open to the public at all for 18 months and the gift shop and schools are usually our main source of income. But the online teaching really took off and over the two years we were able to bring in £50,000 of essential funds through that.

“They will definitely continue. Some of the online courses have been attended by 180 people whereas if I held them here it would be a maximum of 15. It has been an unbelievable success.

Advertisement

“Attendees have come from more than 50 countries in six continents – we haven’t had anyone join us from Antarctica yet!”

Dr Griffin also emphasised the continuation of the museum’s traditional activities, assisted by its band of more than 100 dedicated volunteers, and his desire to get more students, in particular, through its doors.

Another of his long-term aim is for the Centre to twin with a museum in Egypt to exchange ideas and knowledge.

He added: “I first came here as student and I have really been part of the Egypt Centre ever since, it is a very special place. I wake up and look forward to coming to work every single day. It is always exciting.

“It is very rare for a curator of Egyptology post to come up so to get this job really does show that dreams can come true.”

Advertisement

Lead image: Dr Ken Griffin among exhibits in the storeroom of Swansea University’s Egypt Centre. (Image: Swansea University)

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News