Skills at the core of the leisure centre’s success
A Cardiff Leisure Centre that plays a key role in the community has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
Eastern Leisure Centre is one of 28 finalists in nine categories of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW).
The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru recognise the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality Apprenticeships across Wales. Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes in Wales are part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.
The winners will be announced at a high profile awards presentation ceremony at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Wednesday, October 24, where the winners of the National Training Awards for Wales will also be recognised. The joint awards which will be attended by around 300 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales.
Sponsor of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which aim to showcase excellence in skills development in Wales, is Pearson and media partner is Media Wales.
A finalist in the Small Employer of the Year category, Eastern Leisure Centre is a cornerstone in the community, not only providing a valuable community resource and employment opportunities, but also working with other organisations to get more people physically active.
A key to its success is employing fully trained staff to provide a wide range of services at the council-owned centre, which is due to undergo development and expansion early next year.
Babcock delivers Apprenticeship programmes for the centre, developed to meet the needs of each individual and adapted to individual learning and work styles, which has encouraged more staff to take part in work-based learning.
“The Apprenticeship programme has improved staff retention, motivation, morale, competitiveness and created a positive team environment,” said Lindsay Dingley, Centre Manager.
“As a result of the Apprenticeship programme staff have gained industry knowledge, awareness and essential skills. Upskilling of the staff has improved overall service delivery and the increase in sales has enabled the business to grow.
“Many of the staff have gained career opportunities and progression since completing their qualification, including lifeguarding staff becoming gym qualified and centre assistants becoming relief assistant managers.”
The leisure centre currently employs six apprentices and has taken on 17 over the past five years. The forthcoming redevelopment of the leisure centre will allow it to offer more opportunities for staff training and Apprenticeships.
Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said: “These awards recognise excellence by individuals, employers and learning providers in delivering training. I am delighted with the standard of this year’s finalists and the variety across all ages and sectors, which shows the strength of the skills being delivered in Wales.
“All the finalists have an inspiring story to tell and are great ambassadors for apprenticeship and other programmes in Wales.
“The skills acquired through programmes, such as Apprenticeships, provide great benefits to individuals and employers, helping make Welsh businesses more competitive.
“The Welsh Government is committed to creating more apprenticeship opportunities for young people in Wales and continuing to support employers who are willing to offer high quality apprenticeship places.”
The NTfW is a network 116 quality assured work based training providers with links to 35,000 employers across Wales.