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All is ‘Good’ at Skills Academy Wales – and that’s official!

Apprenticeships are in safe hands at the Skills Academy Wales as Estyn, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales, has judged standards as ‘Good’ across the board following an inspection earlier this year.

Skills Academy Wales (SAW) is a work-based learning consortium which is led by NPTC Group of Colleges. It was formed in 2009 and is one of the best performing Apprenticeship providers in Wales, delivering high-quality apprenticeship opportunities in over 30 vocational areas. Partners include ACO Training Ltd; Coleg-y-Cymoedd; Jobforce Wales; Learn-kit Ltd; Llanelli Rural Council Training; Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council Skills and Training and Swansea Itec Ltd. It’s the first work-based learning consortium of its kind in Wales

Estyn summarised the partnership to be well-established and mature with a clear strategic direction and leadership. Its report also highlights learners’ work within the community recognising the positive interest and productive contributions made to a wide range of community projects.

Principal and CEO of NPTC Group of Colleges, Mark Dacey, said: “The report is a great reflection of the commitment, innovation and enthusiasm from our learners, staff, and partners. Skills Academy Wales is a partnership we are proud to be part of, giving our learners key skills in an array of sectors to find jobs in today’s economy. We must recognise the hard work from all our assessors who deliver tailored learning and support individual learners.  We also pride ourselves in the range of charitable work taken up amongst students to help their local community.”

Graded ‘Good’ in all five of the inspection areas, reflecting the consortium’s high academic and pastoral standards: giving learners the opportunity to achieve their personal best. The Inspectors echo this ambition in their findings and recommendations which were as follows:

“Employers support their learners well and provide positive learning experiences for their learners. Nearly all assessors have a wealth of expertise and know their learning area particularly well.

“The rates at which learners achieve their apprenticeship and foundation apprentice frameworks and other qualifications are strong and have been at or above the sector average over the last three years. Over the last two years, success rates in higher apprenticeship programmes are above the sector average.

“Skills Academy Wales also has partnerships with Careers Wales and local schools to ensure prospective learners receive appropriate advice and guidance regarding the training opportunities available towards them.”  [ESTYN, March 2018, published 13th March 2018].

The overall Estyn judgements were Good across all areas which include Standards; Well-being and attitudes to learning; Teaching and learning experiences; Care, support and guidance: Leadership and management.

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