Congratulations Jacob!

After completing our Futures Academy, a programme for Gower College Swansea A’ Level learners seeking alternative options to higher education routes, Jacob has secured an amazing Level 6 Digital & Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship with Jaguar Land Rover!

In discussing how he found the Futures Academy and how the team supported him to secure his new role, Jacob said:


“Being part of the Futures Academy has significantly helped me to secure my degree apprenticeship in Software Engineering at Jaguar Land Rover. Firstly, I have had an increased understanding of the various types of apprenticeships and the options available to me. The academy increased my awareness of the range of different employers hiring and the type of candidates they are looking to recruit. As a result, being part of the academy has been a great support to me in my job search and provided me with the general background knowledge and understanding to help me secure my role.

I have found the 1-2-1 support throughout the entire process to be invaluable in helping me to secure my apprenticeship. At the start of the process, I had never made a CV, and had only briefly ever thought of making one. The CV template I was provided with, as well as the support through meetings with the team, helped me to understand the role of a CV and provided me with the knowledge necessary to produce a competitive document. Subsequent meetings were also instrumental in helping me to refine and improve my CV to stand out from the crowd.

The academy also greatly helped me by carrying out short mock interviews to help me understand what the real interview experience would be like. The mock interviews greatly improved my confidence in my abilities and helped me gauge my competence level and progress. These practical sessions also helped me identify areas to work on, such as my tendency to speak too quickly and rush through information. I am grateful for the interview support I have received as this undoubtedly helped me gain offers from multiple companies where I attended in-person interviews and was able to perform to my maximum potential.

A big thank you to the team, especially Sarah and Julie, with whom I had most of my interactions. I have found the whole team to be friendly and encouraging, which helped encourage me to apply for competitive apprenticeships. The team have always been eager to help me succeed; for example, when one company invited me to an interview with just a few days notice, the team made sure to arrange a mock interview practice session to calm my nerves and boost my confidence. It is without doubt that their support has been fundamental to my success.”


Securing this role is a huge achievement and Jacob is very excited to start his new apprenticeship in September. Congratulations Jacob – we are so proud of you!

To find out more about our Futures Academy programme, contact us at

Better Jobs, Better Futures clients continue to thrive at Bevan Buckland

Since the launch of Better Jobs, Better Futures in 2017, the relationship with Chartered Accountants, Bevan Buckland, has continued to go from strength to strength. The firm continually provide fantastic opportunities for our clients and learners and regularly offer insight sessions sharing expert advice and industry knowledge. Over the last 5 years, Bevan Buckland have also attended our annual Recruitment Fairs and taken advantage of guest speaker opportunities at our Futures Academy.

Saliem and Daniel in 2021

Gower College Swansea learners Daniel and Saliem secured roles on the prestigious Bevan Buckland Training Academy in 2021 and have continued to excel in their careers. Soon after, Saliem celebrated a ‘full circle moment’ whilst attending our 2022 Futures Recruitment Fair, representing Bevan Buckland as her employer. It was at the Recruitment Fair that Saliem met learners Lauren and Atlanta who would follow in her footsteps and join the Bevan Buckland Training Academy later in 2022.

Lauren and Atlanta were studying a BA in Business Management (Accounting & Finance) at Gower College Swansea and, keen to kickstart a career in finance, they accessed support from the Futures team. Dedicated Career Coaches supported the learners to identify suitable trainee accountant opportunities and made them aware of a forthcoming employer workshop being delivered by Vanessa Thomas-Parry, Chief Operating Officer at Bevan Buckland. As one of the biggest accountancy practices in South and West Wales, Lauren and Atlanta jumped at the opportunity to attend. Both girls were inspired by the culture and ethos of the organisation, as well as the range of opportunities for progression and development.

With the support of the team, Lauren and Atlanta submitted excellent applications for the Bevan Buckland Training Academy and were delighted to be offered full time positions. We recently caught-up with Lauren and Atlanta to see how they’ve been getting on.

Conor, Lauren, Atlanta and Courtney

Futures made my job searching experience a smooth process. Whilst studying for my degree, they offered me support by giving me opportunities to visit the Recruitment Fair, attend career talks and offered advice on local accountancy firms. Additional support including CV and interview workshops expanded my knowledge and confidence when applying for jobs. I am thoroughly enjoying my time at Bevan Buckland; the firm is very supportive of the continued study opportunities whilst gaining practical knowledge and I will be starting my ACA qualification in March.” – Atlanta

“I had a really good experience working with the Futures team and the employability sessions really boosted my confidence when applying for jobs. I am really enjoying myself at Bevan Buckland and I’ve settled in well. It is nice to be working within a sector I have studied for 5 years, and the support within Bevan Buckland to help with the step-up has been amazing, along with funding to continue my development into becoming fully qualified. I have taken my first steps to beginning my studies at Bevan Buckland and have signed up to begin my ACA qualification.” – Lauren

In addition to Daniel, Saliem, Lauren and Atlanta, Courtney and Conor accessed support at the Kingsway Employment Hub, looking to launch careers in the accountancy sector.

Courtney decided that she wanted to pursue a training role instead of continuing with education and received support from the team to explore opportunities relevant to her qualifications and career goals. Courtney was supported through the application processes for various accountancy positions and was delighted to secure a role with Bevan Buckland.

“My experience of working with Better Jobs, Better Futures has been very positive. I am really enjoying my time at Bevan Buckland; everyone has given me a lot of support and been so welcoming. I have recently completed my Level 3 Business administrative NVQ, and I am now studying towards a Payroll Technician Advanced course to broaden my payroll knowledge. I am very grateful to BJBF for all the help that they have given me.” – Courtney

When Conor approached the Better Jobs, Better Futures team, he was employed as a Senior Audit Administrator but looking to take the next step in his career into a finance role with opportunities for training and progression. Conor worked with his Career Coach to explore opportunities in the sector where he could utilise the skills developed in his current role. After updating his CV and submitting applications, Conor was invited to interview with Bevan Buckland and his Career Coach guided him through the process. Conor performed exceptionally well and was quickly offered a trainee role.

“Working with BJBF was a hugely positive experience; I was quickly assigned a coach who helped me organise my job search, gave me tips on CV writing and interviews and gave me the confidence I needed to find a job that was right for me. Since starting the role in October 2022, I have grown in my skill and practical knowledge, all thanks to the nurturing qualities exhibited by seniors at Bevan Buckland. I have also been able to progress in my studies during this time. This was an opportunity that I would not have thought possible without working with the BJBF team. I would recommend anyone who needs assistance in finding a role that is right for you, to give the team a call and see what they can do for you.” – Conor

We are extremely proud of the fantastic partnership that has developed with Bevan Buckland and look forward to continuing working together.

“It has been a pleasure working with Bevan Buckland over the last 5 years, supporting the business to recruit and retain the very best talent. I am delighted to see so many of our learners progress into fantastic opportunities, and I am confident that the relationship will continue to go from strength to strength as we support the Bevan Buckland team with the ongoing development of their workforce” – Cath Jenkins, Director of Employability, Gower College Swansea

“Our long-standing partnership and engagement with BJBF and the Futures Academy at Gower College Swansea helps ensure we can have genuine interactions that will give realistic and relevant insight into our workplace, sector, and the employability skills we want our future workforce to develop. By working closely with the team at BJBF, we can access potential recruits who are being supported by advisers who have industry specific knowledge and insight.

We have participated in lots of events facilitated by BJBF and Gower College Swansea such as recruitment and careers fairs, delivering employability sessions and giving sector specific career advice in a classroom setting for students.

As a local employer, we want to give a real and practical insight into the career opportunities we can offer at Bevan Buckland and support the next generation of potential young professionals to reach their potential.”  – Vanessa Thomas-Parry, Chief Operating Officer – Bevan Buckland LLP

Carving out a career in hospitality – Jasmine’s story

Jasmine was studying A’ levels at Gower College Swansea when she contacted the Futures team for support with finding a part-time job to fit around her studies. Having decided that she didn’t want to go to University, Jasmine wanted to focus her efforts on entering employment to gain valuable transferrable skills and real-world experience. Jasmine was supported by her Career Coach to explore suitable opportunities in the hospitality sector and was matched to a Dessert Maker role in local dessert parlour, Treatz.

Jasmine worked with her Career Coach to create a high quality CV, and dedicated herself to mock interview practice sessions to build her confidence. Jasmine performed exceptionally well at interview and was immediately offered a part-time position.

Wanting to further explore her post-education options, Jasmine’s Career Coach signposted her to the Futures Academy – a programme of activities designed to develop an individual employment pathway for every student, with the aim of progressing straight into work or an apprenticeship on completion of their A’ level studies. After exploring her options, Jasmine decided to focus on trainee chef opportunities in the hospitality sector; Jasmine was enjoying her part-time role so much that she had discovered a passion for food and the kitchen environment.

After leaving college, Jasmine was referred to the Better Jobs, Better Futures team for ongoing support. Jasmine’s Career Coach suggested that she enrolled onto a food hygiene course to boost her job-relevant skills, and Jasmine took advantage of the opportunity and completed the course with flying colours.

The team worked tirelessly to seek out the right opportunity, and Jasmine was quickly matched with the perfect fit: a Trainee Chef role at the award winning Forage Farm Shop & Kitchen. The role offered the opportunity to work alongside their Head Chef, as part of a supportive team with a passion for local produce and sustainable farming practices. Jasmine was extremely excited about the opportunity, and submitted an application; she hugely impressed the employer and was offered the Trainee Chef role with immediate effect.

Jasmine has been in her role for a few months and is making exceptional progress, and it is fantastic to see the commitment to her ongoing development with her Commis Chef apprenticeship having recently started in September.

“We are delighted that Jasmine has joined us as a Trainee Chef. The kitchen team at Forage has built a fantastic reputation over the last two years, and we hope that Jasmine will learn a great deal and enjoy her training. We are building a really exciting project here, and it’s fantastic to give youngsters a chance to develop their careers with us.” – Tom Homfray, Owner, Forage Farm & Kitchen.

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and so does our support!

Our new intern, Justas, knows all about the support on offer at Better Jobs, Better Futures, but did you know that his brothers have also crossed paths with our team and benefitted from our support along the way?

Oldest sibling, Karolis, had been working as a Junior IT Technician for Gower College Swansea when he first met the Futures Team, who run the college’s Employment and Enterprise Bureau. With a keen interest to progress to an IT Technician position, but unsure about the application and interview process, Karolis met with a Career Coach for support to develop his knowledge, skills and abilities. With 1-2-1 coaching and mentoring, Karolis gained confidence, learnt valuable new skills and submitted an excellent application for an internal progression opportunity. Karolis was invited to interview for the role, and after extensive preparation and regular mock interviews with the Futures Team, he performed exceptionally well and successfully secured a promotion to IT Technician!

“The work that you’ve done with Karolis has clearly paid off. It really was a superb interview, and the three of us on the panel all commented afterwards that it was like a different person in comparison to his previous interview. He was calm, clear, very professional, and addressed each question concisely including a good level of relevant information and examples whenever appropriate. He did a fine job, scored very well indeed, and was successful in gaining a promotion from Junior IT Technician to IT Technician. The whole team is really pleased with the outcome. 

Many thanks for your help with this process, and for making a really significant difference to Karolis and the Computer Services Team.” – Richard Thorne, former Computer Services Manager

Karolis’ younger brother, Laimis, was a frequent visitor to the Futures Hub during his year as Gower College Swansea’s Student Union President. An outgoing and sociable character, Laimis regularly dropped in to the Hub for advice from the coaches and to chat through his upcoming proposals. After his term as SU President came to an end, and following the advice and support from the Futures team, Laimis decided to re-enrol as a student at the college to study Business. Laimis found the support from the team particularly useful in exploring his options, and as a result, he felt more able to make informed choices based on his circumstances. After his positive experience and knowing the range of benefits from receiving support, Laimis referred his younger brother Justas to the Futures team for help with exploring his options and planning his own career journey.

Youngest sibling, Justas, first came to the Futures team for support with securing a part-time job to run alongside his Business course at Gower College Swansea. With big ambitions of working in the real estate industry, Justas was keen to kick-start his career journey and gain valuable transferrable skills to prepare him for the world of work. Justas received support from the Futures team to search for suitable job opportunities and improve and tailor his CV to relevant roles of interest. Justas made quick progress and was invited to interview for a part-time retail position where he made an excellent impression at his interview and successfully secured the role. But the support didn’t stop there! Justas was keen to keep pursuing his goal of working in real estate, and the team were eager to help him explore his next steps and set him on the best path to achieving his dreams. Justas decided that he wanted to gain experience in a customer focused environment where he could also enhance his administrative and organisational skills, and so he decided to pursue a new opportunity. Recruitment Consultant Sarah suggested that he consider a summer internship being offered by the Better Jobs, Better Futures programme, supporting marketing and administrative activity across a suite of projects. Justas jumped at the chance, completed an excellent application for the role and was quickly invited to interview. With individual preparation and regular mock interview practice with Sarah, Justas hugely impressed the panel with his positive attitude, inspiring ambition and willingness to learn and successfully secured the internship.

Justas started his role in July and has been a fantastic asset to the team; he has already gained a huge amount of transferrable skills and has discovered a love and talent for organisation and administration tasks through his time working with the reception team. Justas is gaining valuable work experience every day and is well on the way to obtaining his future career goals. The team are delighted to have Justas on board and will continue to provide ongoing support to ensure he achieves his dreams.

“The coaches I worked with were so helpful and passionate about their work, and they made sure that I reached my ideal job destination. BJBF has really helped me get the job I wanted and I couldn’t be more grateful.” – Justas

To find out more about the support that Better Jobs Better Futures can offer, contact the team on 01792 284450 or

Stacey Turner

Stacey attended an NHS staff development session hosted by the Better Jobs, Better Futures team and signed up for support hoping to progress within her role. Stacey was working as a Mental Health Liaison Nurse but looking to take the next step on her career journey. With support from Career Coach Lynsey, Stacey found the perfect opportunity and was guided through the application process. Lynsey carried out regular mock interviews to improve Stacey’s confidence and competence, and after a huge amount of effort and dedication, Stacey performed brilliantly well at interview and was offered her dream role as an Occupational Mental Health Practitioner!

Stacey is now playing a pivotal role in her new team, developing a mental health service to provide workplace client referral assessments. Since starting in her new role, we were delighted to welcome Stacey to deliver two training sessions for Better Jobs, Better Futures staff around depression, anxiety, suicide prevention and first aid. With future sessions already in the pipeline, it is fantastic to be part of Stacey’s ongoing development on her incredible career journey.

“By talking through my aspirations with my Career Coach, I developed a better understanding of myself and my future goals. The support helped build my confidence, supported me in decision making and provided useful techniques and skills to use in interviews. This leadership role utilises all my past and present qualifications and combines all my transferrable skills, as well as providing the platform to develop compassionate, holistic services, meeting my personal and professional values.” – Stacey

If you are interested in support with progressing in your career, or need support to find a new role, contact the team to find out how we can help:

01792 284450 |

Recruitment Fair 2022

Meet Jade!

Before the pandemic, Jade was working in two different hospitality roles to support herself and build her employability skills whilst she decided what she wanted to do long-term in her career. Jade had always been very artistic and wanted to utilise her skills, but was undecided whether education, employment or an apprenticeship would be more suited to her circumstances.

During the pandemic, Jade was unfortunately furloughed from her roles, but being determined to see this as an opportunity rather than adversity, Jade started taking online courses to further develop her art and drawing skills. Jade showed incredible commitment and dedication to her ongoing development and decided that she wanted to explore the possibility of becoming a tattoo artist.

Jade took a strategic approach to achieving her goal and signed up for practical courses where she could further improve her artistic skills, particularly in drawing realistic animals, a popular tattoo choice.

Jade also volunteers at the Swansea University Egypt Centre, running educational sessions for visitors and school children which is greatly improving her confidence and transferrable employability skills. Jade is also about to start training to become an Educational Officer for the centre, further demonstrating her commitment to self-development.


With the ongoing support of her Career Coach, Angela, Jade is currently applying for work opportunities to keep her focused and motivated whilst she waits for a suitable Tattoo Artist Apprenticeship to come up in the local area. Jade is the perfect example of how forward planning and exploring your options is the best method to achieving your goals; she shows unrelenting dedication to her craft and long-term ambitions, and her enthusiasm for her passion is both contagious and inspiring.

“I’ve received one to one support with my CV, applications for jobs and job searching. I would have found this difficult to do on my own and it was great to get help to communicate more professionally. Thank you for all of your meaningful support” – Jade

Say hello to Catrin!

Catrin discovered her passion for hairdressing while volunteering at a local hair salon before enrolling onto a Level 1 Hairdressing course at Gower College Swansea. Due to a disability which affects her hands and joints, Catrin found the practical nature of the course incredibly challenging. Despite the flair and enthusiasm she was showing for her written work, Catrin was disappointed that she was unable to progress further with the course and felt her dream disappear and didn’t know where to turn for support. As a result, Catrin’s Tutor referred her to the Futures team to explore her options.

Through 1-2-1 coaching, Career Coach Lisa got to know Catrin and it became clear she had an aptitude for working with young children; Catrin had a young nephew whom she adored and regularly looked after. Lisa suggested that Catrin look into childcare career options; after feeling excited about this potential new career path and desperate to keep progressing on her learning journey, Catrin successfully applied for a Level 1 childcare course.

“My Career Coach Lisa was supportive with my career and has helped me a lot to decide what path is right for me. I now understand that hairdressing wasn’t the right career and I was encouraged to do childcare because I’m brilliant with my nephew and I love playing with children. Thank you so much Lisa for supporting me. You inspired me to do an apprenticeship and now it has come true for me. Thanks for helping me to work towards my dreams and goals, and I was so thrilled to become Childcare Apprentice of the Year” – Catrin

Catrin’s hard work, resilience and positive attitude shone through from the minute she started her course; she maintained excellent attendance, completed all her work on time and to a high standard, and was always willing to support her peers. Catrin’s incredible efforts did not go unnoticed, and she was nominated for Gower College Swansea Student of the year.

As Catrin approached the end of her first year, she wanted to keep learning but gain more hands-on experience and move into an apprenticeship rather than full-time education. Taking control of her future and making positive changes that suited her needs, Catrin applied for an apprenticeship with Noah’s Ark Nursery and was absolutely delighted when she was offered the position.

Catrin is thriving in her new role and making amazing progress towards her Level 2 in Children’s Care, Play, and Learning & Development. Catrin’s ability to overcome her physical barriers with enthusiasm and positivity was recognised when she was recently awarded the Gower College Swansea Childcare Apprentice of the Year 2022.

“Catrin is amazing with the children. She works so hard to entertain them and is always willing to help staff in day-to-day tasks. We love working with her and we are so proud of what she has achieved” – Noah’s Ark Nursery

Catrin is an inspiration, proving that everyone can achieve their goals, regardless of challenges or adversity. Her inspirational attitude to learning has had a positively profound impact on herself, her peers, her tutors and her family, and we couldn’t be more proud.


Meet Andrew!

Andrew, aged 53, has a vast history of work experience in a variety of roles as well as experience of managing his own business.

Andrew worked for Ford Motor Company for several years as well as a role in Logistics, before deciding to start his own business, D Car Deals Brokerage. Andrew’s business involved selling vehicles through 27 UK based dealerships, managing all aspects of the transaction process.

Alongside his business, Andrew was also a self- employed photographer with an impressive client base ranging from the BBC, Daily Mail and The Guardian to WRU and the Welsh Government. Deciding to stick with his passion, Andrew took the decision to focus on his photography, which led to him working on assignments across the globe for worldwide magazines and newspapers.

In a devastating turn of events, Andrew suffered a stroke in 2013 which left him unable to stand or walk and with difficulties speaking. This hindered Andrew’s independence and ability to run his business which he had worked so hard to build, but instead of accepting defeat, Andrew decided to use his experience to his advantage.

 “This life changing event has made me an advocate for people with disabilities. It is important to me that everyone gets the same opportunities in life to thrive and be the best versions on themselves” – Andrew

Andrew became a Big Ideas Wales role model, engaging with young people to inspire entrepreneurship and mentorship as well as working as a Consultant for Swansea University, finding ways to share his wealth of knowledge and expertise to help projects and local communities to have a positive impact on wellbeing.

Andrew is now looking for permanent employment where he can work with those who are able to facilitate positive changes, including employers who can enable those with disabilities to feel comfortable in applying for roles and putting adjustments in place for those that need them.

Andrew is an inspiration to all, and we look forward to supporting him on his career journey and to achieving his goal of changing the world for the better, one person at a time.

Say hello to Courtney!

Ashmole & Co, one of Wales’ largest accountancy and auditing practices, recruited Courtney as a Business Administration Apprentice at the beginning of September after she graduated from Gower College, Swansea, with A Levels in English Language and Literature and Welsh.

Courtney is excelling in her apprenticeship and gaining hugely valuable experience in all aspects of businesses operations including IT, HR and Payroll. Courtney is also receiving fantastic support from her employer, completing various online courses and working towards gaining future qualifications to accelerate her progression.

“Starting a new job during a pandemic was daunting, but the support I have received from Better Jobs, Better Futures, my family and Ashmole & Co has been very reassuring. If you’re thinking of doing an apprenticeship and want to earn a wage while gaining experience, it’s a great option. I am excited to learn new business skills and bring that together with my own skillset. My family and I are pleased I have been given this opportunity to gain qualifications whilst having the practical experience to match.” – Courtney, Apprentice



“Our business needed an all rounded, office junior level of support, however we had much to offer someone who wanted to gain practical experience in the business environment. Taking on an apprentice is a great way to enhance the skilled workforce here at Ashmole & Co and we consider it a privilege to be able to assist in Courtney’s career development. The biggest benefit for me is that the candidates have the best attitude, with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. I would whole-heartedly recommend taking on an apprentice to anyone who has the opportunity.” – Sarah Stallard, HR Manager, Ashmole & Co

”We worked with Sarah at Ashmole & Co to provide support on the whole recruitment and onboarding process, ensuring an apprenticeship was the right fit for the role, and for the business. We worked hand in hand to advertise and fill the position. I am delighted that we were able to find the ideal candidate for Ashmole & Co in Courtney, who is now enjoying the opportunity to earn while she learns.” – Beth Fisher, Workforce Adviser