A new partnership with South African College

Bridgend College is delighted to announce its new strategic partnership with Lovedale TVET College in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.  Funded by the British Council, the colleges will work in partnership to investigate ways of working closely with local and national businesses.

This 12 month project will look at 4 key areas:

  1. The need for students to develop employability skills
  2. The need for students to develop enterprise skills
  3. The need to engage Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) in the curriculum design of vocational and occupational courses
  4. The need to further explore the potential of vocational colleges to work with SMMEs to improve business models and upskill current workforces as well as the future employees

About our new partner:

“Lovedale trains students in a variety of areas such as business, engineering, art and agriculture. Curricula for these are regulated, so development done within the college must focus on adding skills for employability. All learners are supported by the provision of a period of practical experience which, in some cases, is a necessary part of the completion of their qualification. A major reason for widening employer engagement is also to provide avenues for the experiential training of learners.

Lovedale is situated in an area where poverty is rife and there is little industry. While the widening of employer engagement is essential, the college is very involved in initiatives to initiate, develop and sustain micro businesses and entrepreneurship in an attempt to build the pool of jobs.  Lovedale would like to collaborate with international partners who have experience in supporting of SMMEs to expand upon its budding project.”

Lizeka Kosani (Manager: Business and Skills Unit)

17 July 2018 – Visit to Lovedale College undertaken by members of Bridgend College

Over the half term period, Viv Buckley, Joseph Baldwin and Denise Brookes-Cooze undertook a visit to Lovedale TVET College in the Eastern Cape.

On the first day, Viv Buckley (Deputy Principal) wrote:

“Driving into the King’s campus of Lovedale TVET College is strange, a collection of lots of 2 storey buildings, cars parked not in spaces, a sense that a repaint and a bit of new cladding could help, but little can be done to really transform this into a 21st Century learning environment. But, there is a charm, a warmth, a big smile from everyone you pass. It feels familiar, it feels like Cowbridge Road.”

It is amazing to know that so far away, there is another institution facing the same issues as us; but coming up with inventive ways of solving problems. Here are the key learning points:

Simulated work environments can really help build employability skills e.g. on the King William’s Town Campus business was taught in a faux office environment; students were engaged and results were clear, local business were engaged through sponsorship and recruitment activities
Providing training and support for small businesses can improve the likelihood of them taking on Apprentices and providing secure employment for those in the construction industry.

20 May 2018 – Bridgend College welcomes guests from Lovedale

From 7 to 11 May 2018, Bridgend College was delighted to host 3 visitors from Lovedale College. Lizzy, Juanita and Glen are all members of the Lovedale management team and visited to observe first hand how Further Education Institutions in South Wales are engaging with local businesses.

The visit began with a cultural/historical tour of the surrounding areas to locate the College in the wider context of South Wales. The rest of the week saw our guests take part in Digital Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and visit local employers including Ford and Tata Steel to see our employer links in action. A day was also spent at our Queens Road Campus with the Work-based Learning Team and Enterprise Manager, Ruth Rowe.

This Appreciative Enquiry led to a rich feedback session, where our new colleagues attended a meeting of our senior managers and provided feedback on their visit. It was lovely to hear that they had received the traditional warm welcome from all, and fascinating to hear reflections on the open and honest conversations they had enjoyed with members of staff from all areas of the the College. Guests also shared their thoughts on our operational procedures and culture of learning.