Futures Academy Blog – 2019

Exciting news! We are ready to kick off our third Futures Academy!

As we prepare to meet this year’s potential cohort, there is no better time to reflect on the highlights and successes of the last year.

Last year’s Academy students had the opportunity to meet a variety of influential guest speakers including City and County of Swansea Leader, Rob Stewart, and guest speakers from major organisations such as Deloitte, PWC, DVLA, Tata Steel, Sony, Family Housing and Swansea Bay University Health Board.

Various sessions took place focusing on different employment routeways, including apprenticeships and self-employment, with guest speakers helping students to gain a greater understanding of the range of opportunities available.

Throughout the programme, students had the opportunity to evaluate their skills, with a focus on demonstrating and developing key skills such as communication, leadership, problem solving and resilience.

This year also saw the college’s first Careers Fair which was held across both the Tycoch and Gorseinon campuses. The Careers Fair took place towards the end of the Academy programme and provided students with the perfect opportunity to make connections with a range of employers offering some fantastic job opportunities. The fair was hugely successful for our Academy students, with a number receiving invitations to interview and, in some cases, on the spot job offers!

The results?

So far, of the 28 students who completed last year’s Academy, 18 have moved into full time employment or an apprenticeship and 8 have decided to pursue higher education in order to achieve their employment goals. Academy student Demi Clement is a fantastic representation of the success of the programme over the last year. Winning Business Student of the Year in 2018, Demi fully embraced the Futures Academy, taking advantage of the group sessions and 1-2-1 support and showing total dedication. Demi utilised all of the support on offer, including intensive mock interview practice to build her confidence and competence in real interview scenarios.

Demi’s hard work paid off when she was offered a trainee position with accountancy firm Bevan and Buckland.

“Demi is a highly motivated and passionate young professional who is fully committed to becoming a Chartered Accountant. Demi has progressed from work experience student to Junior Accounts Assistant as a result of a willingness to gain experience, excellent academic performance and with the support of Gower College” – Vanessa Thomas Parry, Learning and Development Manager, Bevan and Buckland.

For more information visit: https://www.bevanbuckland.co.uk/

Demi is a fantastic ambassador for the programme and she is just one example of the many success stories that have emerged from last year’s cohort who have undoubtedly paved the way for another exceptional year for the academy. And with numerous other successful outcomes including degree apprenticeships with Capgemini and Astra Zeneca, higher apprenticeships with CGI and Sony, and other fantastic job and trainee roles with a range of local employers, the future really is looking bright for our 2019 Academy graduates and we can’t wait to see what our 2020 cohort will achieve!

For more information about the Futures Academy please contact Futures Programme Leader, Louise Dempster via telephone 01792 284454 or via email louise.dempster@gcs.ac.uk.