gower college swansea

Extra Welsh lessons for students

Two Welsh for Adults students at Gower College Swansea have topped up their classroom learning by attending a residential course at Nantgwrtheyrn, Gwynedd.

Nangwrtheyrn offers intensive three and five day Welsh courses set within a stunning location on the northern coast of the Llŷn Peninsula.

Louise Ryan is following a Sylfaen 2 course at Tycoch (year 4) and uses her Welsh language skills on a daily basis at her bed and breakfast in the Gower.

Caroline Thraves is on a Mynediad 1 course (year 1) and has been learning Welsh since September 2011.

“I really enjoyed the cultural aspect of being in a heritage site with so much history around me,” says Caroline. “The week at Nangwrtheyrn really helped to consolidate what we’ve learned in college.”

“Both these students are very committed to learning the language,” says tutor Llinos Davies. “The fact that they have attended the course at Nantgwrtheyrn demonstrates just how dedicated they are to learning Welsh.” 

College celebrates rugby and football wins

It was a sensational day for sport at Gower College Swansea yesterday!

Our rugby team won the British Colleges Plate Final, playing Hills Rd College Cambridge at Worcester RFC. The final score was 60-12.

Congratulations also go to our football squad for their truly outstanding achievement of winning the English Colleges Football Association Premier Cup yesterday in Oswestry with the hard fought but thoroughly deserved victory over Boreham Wood.

This is an historic achievement – we are the first Welsh team to win this level of ECFA competition.

Congratulations to SummitSkills competitors

A huge well done to our students Lewis Riordan, Richard Carlson and Nicholas Clancy who took part in the recent SummitSkills competition at the Tycoch campus.

Lewis (SkillELECTRIC) and Richard and Nicholas (SkillPLUMB) worked really hard throughout the intense all-day competition. They were required to undertake practical based assessments, installing circuits or pipework and accurately interpreting a set of drawings and instructions. The completed work was then tested for safety and accuracy.

Candidates had to demonstrate a clear understanding of the technical drawings and marking took into account the precision and effectiveness of the finished work.

Congratulations to all who took part!

Photographs courtesy of Roger Moody.

Erasmus programme broadens students’ horizons

Budding entrepreneurs at Gower College Swansea will broaden their horizons following a successful bid by the college to the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme, which is funded by the European Union.

This EU funded initiative will allow ten local students the opportunity to gain work placements in a choice of European countries including Greece, Italy, Spain or Sweden.

They will spend between four weeks and three months on their overseas placements, working in positions of responsibility within SMEs and receiving training in disciplines such as branding, sales, marketing and research and development.

Education Enterprise Manager Sue Poole and International Manager Caroline Townsend Jones, who submitted the bid, hope the programme will encourage young entrepreneurs to develop the relevant skills needed to start up and manage their own businesses.

Ten local companies will, in turn, have the chance to host European entrepreneurial students.

Business Minister Edwina Hart has congratulated the college on securing an invaluable educational opportunity for students.

“The exchange programme will give them the change to learn about the skills needed to run a business from experienced entrepreneurs in other countries and also give them an international perspective of the multi-disciplines needed to be successful in business,” said the Minister. “I would also like to encourage local businesses to host student visits from other countries to showcase the business opportunities available in Wales.”

“The Erasmus programme will open international doors to our students, with the prospect of travelling and working abroad and exchanging ideas with our European partners,” adds Sue Poole. “Gower College Swansea is the only college in Wales to participate in this programme so we are delighted to be able to offer this exclusive opportunity to our students.”

This partnership project, which begins in May, will run for two years.

It will be followed in September by the launch of a brand new BTEC Entrepreneurial Qualification as part of the Welsh Enterprise Academy, which will combine classroom learning with hands-on business mentoring.


Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is financed by the European Commission and operated across the EU with the help of more than 100 local, regional or national intermediary organisations competent in business support (e.g. Chambers of Commerce, business support organisations, start-up centres, etc.). Their activities are coordinated at European level by EUROCHAMBRES, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry, which acts as Support Office.

State of the art science tour for students

Budding scientists from Gower College Swansea have visited state of the art laboratory facilities at GE Healthcare.

The A Level Chemistry and Biology students from Tycoch were invited to The Maynard Centre in Cardiff where they saw the real life, practical application of their subjects.

“We were excited to see at first hand the transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care,” says lecturer Denise Thomas. “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to find out about the new advances being made in scientific techniques and to speak to leading professionals in the industry about future career paths.”

"I was delighted with the overall experience and we had great feedback,” adds Global Consumables R&D Leader Martin James, who coordinated the tour. “I believe this is an important thing for us to do periodically given none of the students - most of whom are planning to continue in the field - had previously had any contact with the 'real world' scientific / commercial community.” 

Presentation for Cannock Chase walkers

Super fit students at Gower College Swansea have been presented with certificates after successfully completing a 40-mile walk for charity.

The walk, through the beautiful Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, was undertaken to raise money for several good causes, including the college’s own Kenya Project.

“Not only did the students have a great experience but they also worked really hard to raise as much sponsorship across college as possible,” says lecturer Ian Peabody.

The students were congratulated at the Gorseinon campus by Principal Nick Bennett.

Top marks for Jonathan

Gower College Swansea student Jonathan New has achieved ‘top performing candidate’ status for the whole of the UK in the NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety.

Jonathan, who works as an Operations Manager, achieved exam results of NGC1 90%, NGC2 91% and NGC3 91% - which gives an overall National General Certificate Distinction.

“I previously completed the IOSH Managing Safely course at the college and, after discussions with the tutors, felt that the NEBOSH course was the next logical step,” says Jonathan. “The course was challenging but rewarding and it has proved valuable in my job as Operations Manager for an electronic security company. In our industry Health & Safety is now of the utmost importance, so I’m pleased to be able to use the knowledge I’ve gained in my day to day work. I never expected to get the top mark in the UK but I’m delighted and it’s made all the hard work worthwhile!”

He has now been invited to the University of Warwick, Coventry for a cap and gown event along with a representative of the college.

“This result reflects the high standard of delivery at Sketty Hall and the hard work of both staff and students,” says the college’s Regional Business Development Manager Nick Couling. “On behalf of us all at Gower College Swansea, may I congratulate Jonathan and wish him all the best for the future.” 

Lewis named as Wales’ brightest spark

Press release and photograph courtesy of Working Word

A student from Gower College Swansea has scooped the top prize in a quest to find Wales’ best young electrical installer.

Lewis Riordan, 16, from Gowerton and a Level 2 Electrotechnical Technology student at Gower College Swansea, battled it out with finalists from across Wales to be named winner in the Skills Competition Wales electrical instillation competition.

Lewis set his sights on a career as an electrician from a young age and a work experience stint with a local electrician confirmed it was the job for him. With this in mind Lewis enrolled at Gower College Swansea after completing his GCSEs. Now six months into his course and with a gold medal under his belt, his aim is to complete his studies with the end goal of setting up his own business.

To achieve his place in the prestigious all-Wales final, which was held at Gower College Swansea, Lewis competed in the South Wales heat of the electrical instillation competition in February, following a top three finish he then earned his place in the prestigious final.

Backed by the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund, Skills Competition Wales promotes the importance of developing a highly skilled workforce. The electrical instillation arm of the competition is run by Gower College Swansea.

Lewis said: “My tutor at college told me about the competition, it sounded interesting so I thought I’d give it a go and I’m really glad I did. It was a great way of testing my skills against others across Wales who take similar courses, I’m really chuffed to have won, it’s a big confidence boost and will look great on my CV.”

Lewis and the other competitors took part in practical and theory tests, including the interpretation of drawings and wiring details, the construction and testing of full working circuits and measurement and marking of trunking cable while being judged on their efficient use of materials while working safely.

Skills Competition Wales aims to find Wales’ most talented trainees across a wide range of skills, including fields such as electrical instillation automotive engineering, aerospace, construction skills, catering, accountancy, media, and information technology. It involves colleges, Sector Skills Councils and training providers holding competitions across Wales.

Skills Competition Wales offers learners the chance to test, benchmark and raise their skills levels and provides valuable competition experience for those who enter and progress onto WorldSkills UK competitions.  For employers, competitions not only help drive up the quality in apprenticeships and vocational education, but also motivate employees to achieve success.

The Welsh Government is encouraging businesses and skills providers in Wales to get involved, promote and support Skills Competition Wales and WorldSkills competitions.

Jeff Cuthbert, Deputy Minister for Skills, said: “I congratulate Lewis on his success. These competitions provide an excellent opportunity to stretch the abilities of up and coming skilled workers from many important sectors of the economy and encourage them to benchmark their skill against others in Wales and UK or international competitors.

“It is vital that our workforce has the very highest skills and that we continue to strive for excellence across all sectors to ensure Wales can compete on the international stage.”

For more information about Skills Competitions Wales and WorldSkills UK please visit www.worldskillsuk.org/wales

Money Maze amazes

Students from Gower College Swansea have been ‘highly commended’ at a recent Money for Life challenge event in Cardiff.

They attracted much praise for their innovative ‘Money Maze’ computer game, which they designed and developed at college.

The students - James Cookson, Amgad Kwider, Tomas Dempster, Jack Davies and Sonnie Browning – are currently studying IT at the Tycoch campus.

“The challenge was to develop ideas to help people save money. This game is great fun, with players having to collect virtual coins and answer money-related questions as they progress,” says the college’s Education Enterprise Manager Sue Poole. “If anyone gets a question wrong then the right answer appears on the screen, so they can learn as they go along.”

The ceremony, held at Cardiff City Stadium, was attended by colleges and training providers from across Wales.

Money Maze was named as highly commended by judges from the National Training Federation of Wales, ColegauCymru, NUS and Lloyds Banking Group.

I Save - a second team from Gower College Swansea – also impressed with their practical booklet which contains advice on avoiding scams and choosing the best credit cards and bank accounts.

“The I Save booklet has already been distributed as a learning tool to local schools,” adds Sue.

Pictured are James Cookson and Amgad Kwider with Sarah Porretta, Head of the Money for Life Programme.

Free classes for Adult Learners Week

Gower College Swansea is offering free classes to coincide with Adult Learners Week 2012.

The classes, held at the Canolfan Gorseinon Centre, will explore a range of subjects including art, photography and IT.

“We’re hoping these classes will appeal to the local community,” says lecturer Maggie Carr. “Even if it’s been years since you last stepped into a classroom, you can come along, meet new people and pick up a new skill.”

Adult Learners' Week is the UK's largest festival and celebration of adult learning, coordinated by NIACE Dysgu Cymru and core-funded by the Welsh Government and the European Social Fund.

Booking is required for these classes, please contact 01792 894363

Details of the classes are:

  • Saturday 12th May (10am – 1pm) Using Images from the Internet
  • Saturday 12th May (10am – 1pm) Experimental Gilding on Paper
  • Monday 14th May (12.30pm - 2.30pm) Experimental Glasswork - Glass Fusing
  • Tuesday 15th May (9.30am - 11.30am) Textile Artist Trading Cards
  • Tuesday 15th May (12.30am - 2.30pm) Acrylics
  • Tuesday 15th May (9am – 12pm) Swansea City Supporters - put images of your memorabilia on the Peoples’ Archive
  • Wednesday 16th May (10am – 12pm) Sandblasting Glass
  • Thursday 17th May (9.30am - 11.30am) Watercolour
  • Friday 18th May (11am – 1pm) Digital Photography
  • Saturday 19th May (10am – 1pm) Creative Sketchbooks


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