Category: Industry News, Graduates, Career Development, apprenticeship, university, DVLA, talent development
On Wednesday 8 November 2017, Gower College Swansea held its Graduation Ceremony at the Great Hall in Swansea University. A number of colleagues from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) were there to receive their awards.
In early 2015, applications were invited from people in the DVLA’s IT department, known as ‘Information Technology Services’ or ITS for short, who would like to take up a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management. It would involve 18 months of study, with a college day every 2 weeks during term time. To show individual’s commitment to the apprenticeship, it was outlined that most of the work would have to be completed in the student’s own time and evidence would need to be provided that you were demonstrating the skills required by the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) units, as academic knowledge wasn’t enough.
Colleagues could study toward these qualifications:
- ILM Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Management,
- ILM Level 4 Diploma in Principles of Leadership & Management (QCF) (VRQ) and
- Essential Skills Wales (ESW) (Communication, Application of Number and IT – Level 2)
Sue Northcott explained:
“It all began on the 30 July 2015 with the usual fresher rounds of form filling and literacy and numeracy assessments. We were given our timetables, had our photos taken for our student cards and felt reassured that we could achieve this qualification and looked forward to student discounts. Then nothing happened until the September when our sessions really kicked off, and reality began to dawn. The course required us to submit twenty pieces of work, plus providing evidence of competency in the three skills required for ESW, quite an undertaking!
“We were all from different parts of ITS, but we bonded immediately and through the 18 months duration of the course we helped each other out, gained confidence through learning, expanded our knowledge and had some laughs and tears along the way. I’m happy to say we got through it as a group and the networks and friendships formed have been amazing.
“We’ll now go on to complete a Chartered Management Institute Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership, and with a bit of luck, and a following wind, achieve Chartered Manager status.”
Feedback from Swansea College tutors
“Over the last 18 months Gower College Swansea has been working in partnership with the DVLA to support 7 individuals to complete a level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management.
“This programme has involved a considerable amount of research and work to be completed outside normal working hours supported by a formal study day every fortnight. The experience has been challenging for all concerned and on many occasions stretched people beyond their comfort zones. However this was done in a supportive environment with all individuals helping and encouraging each other, building their own learning network.
The group were extremely self motivated and participative throughout and achieved excellent results. Their knowledge and practical experience of particularly managing projects and the process of project management has been a great advantage.
Some quotes from the students
“It has enabled all of us to increase our skills as managers applying the tools, techniques and management theories learned on the course back into the workplace.”
“Massively increased my confidence, which has had a positive impact in my day to day role, and has also encouraged me to volunteer for things that are outside of my comfort zone.”
“I gained confidence, worked with a great group and tutor, improved skills to bring into my new role - never too old I say”
“For me, I think it would be fair to say that it has changed my life. I have more confidence, a more realistic view of my abilities and I’m continuing to push myself way outside my comfort zone. I feel like a different person”
“I have used the knowledge to reenergise my career and since starting the course, I’ve been lucky enough to gain 2 promotions. Knowledge and experience gained has helped me push myself outside my comfort zone and the friends and networking that I have gained have been a real joy.
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