Gower College Swansea and Swansea Council

The College

Activate Learning

Gower College Swansea is a forward-thinking college with a strong reputation, teaching 15,000 students.

The college prides itself on its high quality of vocational, professional and higher education course provision, as well as an ever-growing apprenticeship portfolio which is delivered in partnership with key employers.

The Employer

Swansea Council is the governing body of the areas of Swansea, Gower and surrounding area. It consists of 72 councillors, representing 36 electoral wards.

The Council provides services in a wide range of areas including sponsorship and commercial opportunities, land and property, commercial waste and trading standards.

The Partnership

Gower College Swansea has worked with Swansea Council for over 15 years and it is one of the College’s main Apprenticeship accounts. With over 11,000 employees working in the region, Swansea Council has collaborated with the college to offer a range of apprenticeships and training to their staff.

In 2016, the college agreed to take over the running and management of the Council’s apprenticeship programmes, including the employment of 35 Council staff members. By integrating, the college has subsequently been able to improve outcomes and increase the number of apprenticeships, both within the Council and other employers.

Gower College Swansea supports Swansea Council to ensure they maximise their Apprenticeship Levy investment. The College currently supports over 200 Council apprentices – from foundation through to higher levels - in areas such as IT, Leadership & Management, Construction, Housing, Childcare, Advice & Guidance, and Customer Service.

The Benefits

The college benefits from this partnership because the Council is one of its most significant employer partners – not only due to the number of learners but also due to the impact that their collaboration has on the communities that they both serve. They work collaboratively with their shared desire to enhance the city of Swansea.

The sector they have been most impactful is in the trades industry. 40% of the Council’s trade employees have gone through an Apprenticeship Programme, developing the new generation of multi-trade personnel. Their sustainable approach to training and employment has led to continuous year-on-year recruitment for over 15 years. Since 2003, the team has recruited more than 190 apprentices as part of its succession planning. The new recruits go on to replace around 45% of tradespeople retiring from corporate building services.

Furthermore, the college offers the Council a flexible range of training solutions to suit the wide variety of disciplines and levels within the Council. Not all learning is undertaken on site and much of the training can be done remotely which suits different shift patterns and learning styles. The college also has a dedicate team to support them in rolling out Apprenticeships and training to all areas of the Local

Authority – ensuring that they make the most of their Levy investment and actively encouraging a culture of learning and development.
Gower College has been a key partner in the training and development of their workforce, and they see them continuing to play an important role for the future of the Council. They would definitely recommend the College to other employers.

What they say

Hear first hand from colleges and employers about their experiences.

Working in partnership with the College, I have found them be completely professional and pro-active in the support they have given us in delivering our objectives for a “Sustainable Swansea”. I look forward to continuing to build upon our strong relationship going forward.

Adrian Chard, Strategic HR & OD Manager at Swansea Council

The College enjoys an excellent relationship with the local Council across so many areas of our business and, for this reason, it is essential that we treat the Council as a preferred partner in developing, and then delivering, a series of tailored solutions that meet their particular needs.

Mark Jones, Principal and Chief Executive at Gower College Swansea

Want to know more?

For a collection of all the great case studies featured as part of the campaign, please check out our employer engagement prospects.

We’d also love to hear from employer about how Collab Group colleges can work with you to help fill your business needs.