Wales

Gower College criticised over English apprenticeships

Gower College sign
Image caption The college started running a scheme in the south of England in October 2017

A Welsh college has been criticised for its training of dozens of English apprentices by an education watchdog.

Ofsted conducted monitoring visits to schemes run by Swansea's Gower College in the south of England.

It said college bosses had made "insufficient progress" in its work with 57 levy-funded apprentices over the border since starting in October 2017.

The college said it was confident improvements would be made.

Ofsted carried out monitoring visits of the scheme - much of which is delivered through a sub-contractor - in October 2018.

It found the college had not made sure all apprentices received their full entitlement of off-the-job training during working hours.

'Slow progress'

Other issues included failing to take account of apprentices' "starting points", with some making "slow progress" with English and maths skills when they were capable of "rapid progress".

Gower College said the feedback was "clearly disappointing" but did not reflect its work in Wales, where it trains thousands of youngsters.

"Whilst the college has a long-standing record for the delivery of high quality apprenticeship provision in Wales, our delivery in England has been kept intentionally very small, currently limited to only 57 students and six employers, recognising that there are significant differences in approach and regulation," it said.

"Although our predicted qualification achievement, retention and rates are very strong, it is fully recognised that there are still improvements that we need to make."

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