From education to employment

NPTC Group of Colleges shares in the success of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – Innovation

Sharing Success: Anthony Thomas, Managing Director of ASW Property Services Ltd and Cyfle Board member presents a copy of the Queen’s Award to Mark Dacey, CEO of NPTC Group of Colleges and Ian Lumsdaine, Director of Studies.

NPTC Group of Colleges has been presented with a copy of the ‘Queen’s Award for Enterprise – Innovation’ by Cyfle Building Skills as a thank you for all its support.

Cyfle, the regional shared apprenticeship scheme, scooped the Queen’s Award earlier this year and as a mark of respect to the College, a copy has now been presented to its CEO Mark Dacey.

The award is the most prestigious of its kind in the UK and is given to companies or individuals who are outstanding in their field.  It was presented to Cyfle for its ground-breaking scheme in which apprentices are taught using new and original methods – the first of its kind in the UK.

NPTC Group of Colleges has been a strong supporter of the organisation and is the largest provider of off-the-job training for the Cyfle partnership. It also provides a base for its staff on the Neath College site.

Apprentices are taught using new and original methods, and are provided with a theory-based education in the regional colleges whilst also being offered the chance of practical work in various trades. Cyfle’s apprentices work with various employers over the two years rather than working with one fixed employer. This gives them an alternative route into an apprenticeship as opposed to the traditional route, and the flexible shared system of apprentices has been described as the ‘ultimate work-based learning experience’ for future tradespeople.

The scheme is very contractor-oriented with strong support from SMEs and engages with around 150 companies of varying scale and specialties. Another benefit of the scheme has been the life-changing opportunities for some of the Shared Apprentices who have been involved in projects overseas including that of Sam Shaw, a former bricklaying-shared apprentice with NPTC Group of Colleges and Cyfle Building Skills. He was the youngest apprentice to go to Uganda and the first from the Neath Port Talbot area to be involved in a project working on the Maternity Ward Scheme in Kachumbala, Uganda in partnership with EFOD South West Wales.

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