Coleg y Cymoedd’s engineering department and its apprentices have been honoured at a high-profile industry awards ceremony, where they received the accolade of Wales’ Best College for its delivery of the Pathways to Apprenticeship programme in Engineering.
The award is part of the UK-wide Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) Future Manufacturing Awards programme, which is now in its fifth year.
The college was presented with the honour at a ceremony attended by hundreds of employers, training providers and apprentices at Chester Racecourse.
EEF holds the annual awards to showcase the best of British innovation in the manufacturing industry and is recognised as the largest and most prestigious event awards in the sector.
Coleg y Cymoedd was commended for its work with leading national and local partners to provide learners with training and nationally recognised qualifications that lead to real jobs.
Some of the college’s engineering industry partners include aviation giants GE Aviation, British Airways Maintenance in Cardiff, BA Avionics Llantrisant, BA Interiors Blackwood, and local companies FSG Tool & Die Ltd (FSG) and Allevard Springs Ltd.
The awards also recognised the achievements of several of Coleg y Cymoedd’s apprentices and learners. Aled Hughes who is learner employed by British Airways Maintenance in Cardiff, won the best Pathway to Apprenticeship learner award for the 2012/13 academic year.
Speaking of his achievement, Aled said: “I am very proud to have been presented with the award and I am incredibly grateful to the college and British Airways Maintenance for providing me with this opportunity to start my engineering career under the Pathways to Apprenticeship scheme.”
A host of other Coleg y Cymoedd students were recognised at the awards. Williams Beynon, a Pathway to Apprenticeship learner employed by FSG Tool & Die Ltd, was a finalist for Best Pathways to Apprenticeship award for 2012/13; Amy Strange and Luke Parry, who are both Work Based Learning students at the College and are apprentices with GE Aviation and FSG (respectively), were both finalists for Best 3rd Year Apprentice award; and Cerys Williams was a runner up in the category of Best Final Year Apprentice. Cerys, a former learner from the college’s Pathways to Apprenticeship and Work Based Learning programmes, recently completed her apprenticeship and has gained employment with local manufacturer Allevard Springs.
Commenting on the achievements of Coleg y Cymoedd’s engineering department, Mel Jones, curriculum director at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “This year’s EEF Future Manufacturing Awards are a fantastic recognition of the hard work of the college’s engineering staff and their dedication to providing the highest standards of training and skills provision to the next generation of Welsh engineers. Our work is already recognised by our partners in industry, many of whom have themselves been recognised in this year’s awards.”