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Apprenticeship Academy wins ‘Employer of the Year’ Award

Apprentice Academy Manager, Ruth Gates and her team at Swansea University Health Board with their award for ‘Macro Employer of the Year’

The longstanding partnership between Pathways Training (the Apprenticeship arm of NPTC Group of Colleges) and Swansea Bay University Health Board has won a top award at this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru held at the International Convention Centre Wales, Newport, on October 24th.

The annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships was organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Pathways Training and Swansea Bay University Health Board’s Apprenticeship Academy had been shortlisted in the Macro Employer of the Year (5000 plus) category and beat off strong competition to scoop the award.

Since creating its Apprentice Academy, supported by Skills Academy Wales, in late 2016, 193 apprentices from 12 learning frameworks, that cover the full spectrum of the industry, have been appointed and a further 15 successful candidates are awaiting pre-employment checks.

The partnership currently has apprentice administrators, health care support workers on the wards and in theatres, and assistants in laboratories and areas such as Learning & Development, Outpatient Booking Offices, Estates and Facilities and Therapies Department. The majority are undertaking apprenticeships in business and administration and clinical health care support (such as pathology) but the Academy is looking to broaden the apprenticeship qualifications to pharmacy, hospitality and ICT in the future.

“The success of the Academy is down to the partnership with NPTC Group of Colleges and their associated partners within Skills Academy Wales,” said Ruth Gates, Apprentice Academy Manager.

“Providing apprenticeships through the Academy is a win-win situation for both recruiting and improving the skills of staff. It also supports communities which gives the Health Board and training provider partnership greater credibility.”

“The Academy is unique across Wales and has been an outstanding success in providing an innovative hub which responds effectively to the identified skills shortages and gaps within the organisation,” said Nicola Thornton Scott, NPTC Group of Colleges’ Assistant Principal for Skills.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “All the winners have set the standard for apprenticeships and traineeships throughout Wales. They are a fantastic showcase for our apprenticeship programme […] We promised we would create 100,000 all-age apprenticeships this Assembly term and thanks to a remarkable effort from employers, learning providers and advice services, we are well on our way to reaching, and exceeding, this target. We will continue to work together to equip Wales with the talent to have a genuinely world-class workforce.”

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